New Zealand heavyweight Junior Fa's next opponent has been confirmed as Richard Lartey, a 1.96m fighter from Ghana.
The undefeated Fa, also 1.96m tall, will face Lartey in Auckland on Friday, June 22. Lartey has a 12-1 professional record and is expected to provide Fa with a big challenge as the Kiwi seeks to rise up the rankings in his bid for a world title shot next year.
Fa will fight on a card promoted by former heavyweight Shane Cameron at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Eden Terrace.
"It is great to have Junior Fa back in New Zealand looking to continue his undefeated reign and Lartey will be a genuine tough opponent and a true test for Junior which is what he needs," Cameron said.
For Fa the Lartey fight is an opportunity to draw a line under his last performance, a majority decision win over American Craig Lewis in South Dakota in March which extended his record to 14-0.
Despite going into the bout in the best physical shape of his career, Fa disappointed. "The biggest thing for me was my mental approach to the fight," he told the Herald. "I went in there too excited. I wasted a lot of my energy on basically trying to land big, big shots without setting them up. I didn't let my punches flow.
"In boxing terms, I'm getting out of that prospect stage into more of a contender stage," he added. "They're putting me up against tougher opponents and testing me a bit.
"I'm excited for my next fight because I will come in a bit lighter, a bit faster, a bit stronger. Also I get to work on the mental things, which basically stopped me in the last fight."
Fa, promoted by American Lou di Bella, who looks after the interests of WBC world champion Deontay Wilder, hopes to build himself up to a mandatory position next year with Wilder or Anthony Joshua in mind.
Joshua relieved fellow Kiwi Joseph Parker of his WBO world title in Cardiff last month.
Fa and Parker famously share the honours as far as amateur clashes between the pair go with two wins each.
Shane Cameron's Counterpunch Fight Night:
Friday, June 22 at Auckland's Mahatma Gandhi Centre
Monica Tai (2-0) v TBC (4 rounds)
Leti Leti v TBC (4 rounds)
Panuve Helu (9-1) (Auckland) v TBC (4 rounds)
Joshua Francis (1-1) v TBC (8-0) (6 rounds)
Bowyn Morgan (15-1) (Christchurch) v Shay Brock (12-1-1) (10 rounds)
Junior Fa 14-0 v Richard Lartey (12-1) (10 rounds)