New Zealand heavyweight Junior Fa is on the brink of what could be the toughest challenge of his professional career; a fight in the United States against Dominick Guinn, a veteran who has never been stopped in 50 pro bouts.
Fa will face American Guinn in Temecula, California, tomorrow. The undefeated Kiwi weighed in today at 117kg and his opponent, who has a 37-12-1 professional record, weighed 106.3kg.
Fa's last fight was a first-round knockout of Newfel Ouatah in Columbus, USA, in March. This one is likely to go far longer and possibly the full 10 rounds due to his opponent's toughness and experience, although Fa should have some big advantages.
He is heavier, taller and younger. Guinn is 44 years old, while Fa is 29. But in Guinn's favour is the list of men he has gone the distance with: Artur Szpilka, Hughie Fury, Tomasz Adamek, Amir Monsour, Kubrat Pulev, Eddie Chambers and Tony Thompson.
Fa, needing a big performance to make a statement in the US, looked good in demolishing Outah, but Guinn is a big step up in quality.
"I'm very excited about this one," Fa told the Herald. "It won't be a first-round knockout. I'm approaching this in a strategic way, for sure. I'm hoping to set him up for a big punch later on.
"He's not just durable; he can punch and he knows how to hurt opponents. It's a really good fight for me."
Fa's manager Mark Keddell told the Herald that Guinn's large entourage which has arrived in Temecula suggests the Texas-based fighter is confident about his chances. A win over Fa would set Guinn up for a big-money fight against another contender.
Keddell said the fight was scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN+, which is not available in New Zealand, but he was working with the promoters in an attempt to have it broadcast on Sky TV here.