Joseph Parker says rival Kiwi heavyweight Junior Fa hasn't faced the same class of opponent as him but understands why a potential showdown in Auckland in the middle of the year would attract the attention of the public and not just that of boxing fans.

Parker, already back in training after his devastating fifth-round knockout of American Shawndell Winters in Frisco, Texas, at the weekend, watched the broadcast of the David Tua v Shane Cameron clash as a 17-year-old and knows how high-profile grudge matches can both stop a nation and divide one.

In the case of Tua v Cameron, a bout in 2009 dubbed as the 'Fight of the Century' and won convincingly by Tua in the second round at Mystery Creek, there was little middle ground. You were either in the Tua camp or Cameron camp and that's why an estimated 88,000 pay per view buys – still a New Zealand record – were sold.

The fight was put on at considerable financial risk by Parker's now manager David Higgins and, 11 years later, talks are underway between the promotional teams of Parker, a former world champion, and Fa, undefeated as a professional, for a type of sequal.


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While there will be several hurdles to clear – mainly connected with money, as always – a fight between the pair seems set to happen at some stage. The entrance into New Zealand of sports streamer DAZN could make it happen sooner rather than later.

"Obviously he's undefeated and I think the public will see it as a big fight here in New Zealand," Parker told the Herald. "I don't think he's had the same level of opponents as me, but styles make fights and maybe that's why everyone's interested in it. He and his team have done well.

"I think the first time we tried to get a fight organised they asked for too much money, but I think this is the opportunity to make it happen. If the public want to see it maybe we should make it happen. Everyone wants to see who's the best in New Zealand.

"Hopefully everyone can agree to terms and agree to a fair purse."

Joseph Parker and Junior Fa. Photos / Photosport
Joseph Parker and Junior Fa. Photos / Photosport

Parker and Fa have respect for each other – in public anyway – but that could be tested in the weeks leading up to a potential fight. Another factor which could divide fans is their different heritage; they were both born in Auckland but Parker is from Samoan descent while Fa is of Tongan ancestory.

"That will add an extra twist," Parker admitted. "I know throughout my career that the Samoans and Tongans and all Islanders have backed me all the way to the top but when it's something like this – a Samoan against a Tongan – each country gets behind their own and it makes it a bit more interesting."

Parker said he remembers being in the family home of his partner Laine for the Tua v Cameron fight and recognises the irony of his being promoted and now managed by Higgins, who faced bankruptcy had the bout not been a financial success.


"The whole country came to a standstill," Parker said. "Every household had family members gathered around the TV watching the fight.

"I was watching thinking 'damn I wish I was at the stadium so I could feel the atmosphere and the buzz'.

"If it had gone wrong I'm not sure what kind of path I would have taken because a lot of the success I've had has come with joining with David and Duco."

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Parker and Fa have fought each other four times as amateurs and have two wins each.

Parker, who went the distance with world champion Anthony Joshua, has stopped 21 of his 29 opponents, while Fa has stopped 10 of his 19.

"You have to respect every heavyweight's power," Parker said. "One punch at the right time on the right spot can knock out any heavyweight. Even though he hasn't knocked out a lot of his opponents, maybe he hasn't landed the proper shot. When you have someone who's six foot six and carrying the weight he has, if it lands on the right spot it can make a big difference."