Shane Cameron, the man who fought David Tua in New Zealand's last big domestic heavyweight clash 11 years ago, believes Joseph Parker's speed and experience will be too much for Junior Fa when the pair meet in Auckland next month.
Cameron, a popular fighter known as the Mountain Warrior during his 13-year boxing career, was second best against Tua at Mystery Creek in the clash described as New Zealand's Fight of the Century.
In fact, he was knocked out 20 seconds in the second round in a fight which probably should have been stopped in the first, but the unique build-up to the fight captivated, and to some extent divided, a nation. The trash talking was on a level rarely seen here and fans were for either Cameron or Tua, a heavy hitter who had lost a world championship fight to Lennox Lewis in Las Vegas in 2000. There was rarely any middle ground.
That provided the backdrop to an event which still holds the record for pay per view subscriptions in this country and its success for promoters Duco Events effectively paved the way for Parker's professional career.
It was the brainchild of Duco's David Higgins, who later became Parker's promoter (now manager), and had it failed it is likely that Parker's lucrative career, which has seen him claim and relinquish the WBO world championship, would have turned out very differently.
Cameron's career was also linked with Parker's in a different way. In 2012, Parker made his professional debut on the undercard of Cameron's main event fight against American Monte Barrett (which Cameron won by a spectacular one-punch knockout) and before it the two Kiwis had several sparring sessions against each other.
That time in the ring with Parker, and Parker's subsequent success in winning his world title in 2016 against Andy Ruiz Jr and good victories against several other notable opponents, leads Cameron to think Parker will be a clear favourite.
"He's come a long way since that night," Cameron told the Herald of Parker's debut at Auckland's Sky City eight years ago. "He's always had that speed. That was a standout for me when we sparred. He was quick and he had a lot of courage in his sparring.
"He'd grit his teeth and go one-on-one with me, a seasoned pro. I saw a lot of potential in him at the time."
Parker was just 20 then, and Cameron 35. Asked whether back then he thought he could meet Parker in a contest proper, Cameron replied: "They did talk about me fighting him.
"I was at the end of my career and fighting a young buck like him – it wouldn't have been an easy night for me. We were at different ends of our careers.
"I said I'd rather fight him earlier than later – when I still had something in the tank. But nothing eventuated from it."
Asked to deliver a prediction on the fight at Auckland's Spark Arena on December 12, New Zealand's biggest since Parker's win against Ruiz Jr at the same venue four years ago, Cameron said: "On paper Joseph should have too much experience for Junior. He's had a lot of big fights now. He's a seasoned professional. Junior has had 19 – but against a different calibre of opponent. That's on paper. It's all on the night though, man."
Parker, now 28, has fought 27 times as a professional for 25 wins and two losses. Fighting under the bright lights in main events is nothing new to him; he lost his world title to Anthony Joshua in front of 80,000 spectators in Cardiff but showed a remarkable calm during the days leading up to an event in which he acquitted himself well.
"He is very calm and relaxed – even walking to the ring," Cameron said. "You can see it. He's just a chill guy but he knows how to turn it on."
Fa, 31, has sparred many times with former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder but has been plagued by health issues during his professional career and has yet to put on a truly eye-catching performance despite his undefeated record.
Cameron said Fa was likely to fight on the back foot and aim to accumulate points but will need to make Parker respect his power.
"He's more of a boxer than a brawler," Cameron said of Fa. "I don't think he'll try to brawl. I think he'll stay on the outside and stay long. He needs to land some formidable shots on Parker to stop him from coming forward though because Parker will need to come forward to win the fight.
"Junior is bigger and longer in terms of his reach. Parker will be the one applying pressure and Junior will be on the back foot, but he needs to be on the back foot landing some good, heavy shots. If he's not landing some heavy shots on Joseph, Joseph ain't going to respect his power. Joe will come forward and try to get him out of there."
Parker and Fa, both South Aucklanders and of Samoan and Tonga heritage respectively, appear to mutually respect each other - so far anyway - but the Cameron v Tua build-up was notable for its real animosity between the pair, who are now good friends.
"I even spoke to Dave the other day – I went to see him at the gym and said 'man, you had everything to lose when you fought me'," Cameron said. "I had everything to gain because I wasn't expected to win. He said 'man, if I'd lost that fight, I'd have had to leave New Zealand'."