Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 27-2 will need to overcome the longest layoff of his career when he faces domestic rival Junior Fa 19-0 at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand on December 11. The 28-year-old Kiwi was last in action in February when he stopped American Shawndell Winters in five rounds in Frisco, Texas.
Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry, who is based in the United States, finished his mandatory quarantine in Christchurch on Thursday and has flown to Auckland to start camp. On Friday afternoon they had their first training session together in eight months. In the last eight years we’ve never had this period of time where we have been apart and not training together or fighting someone… eight months is a long time, Barry told Stuff.
The early stage of the camp will be focussed on getting Parker’s timing back rather than a specific gameplan for the fight. The first couple of days I’m not going to be worried too much about the game plan, Barry continued. It is more about getting Joe’s timing back, getting the feel of hitting mitts together again, getting back into Joe’s mind and thoughts, and just us gelling together.”