Parker wins close decision over Fa in New Zealand.
Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker remained on pace to achieve another chance at heavyweight honors by edging old friend and rival Junior Fa over 12 rounds at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand last night. Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) was judged the winner by a realistic 115-113, and ridiculous scores of 117-111 and 119-109.
Parker, who admitted after the bout that rust was a factor, absorbed a big right hand in the opening stanza. He did better in rounds two and three, wobbling Fa (19-1, 10 KOs) with a right cross and left hook.
As the fight wore on, Parker, the superior all around fighter, connected with crisp punches on the inside. Clinching also became more prevalent as the fight progressed.
Fa landed two thudding right hands in rounds five and six. Parker,29, paid the blow no mind – stunning Fa with a big left in round seven. Parker clipped Fa some more in round eight, including a stray elbow that brought blood. Fa ignored the crimson, and rallied to surprise Parker in rounds nine and 10.
An exhausted Parker tried to find the energy to end things late, but the 31-year-old Fa wouldn’t be play ball.
"Junior and his team did a great job," said the always gracious Parker. "They came here to fight and it was a lot closer than we expected. We’re going to talk now to see who is next for us.
Parker will likely fight Derek Chisora next.