Parker shakes off ring rust for points decision

Look. If you read our website and you don’t know about this fight, welcome back from your coma... but let’s start with the basics. Joseph Parker returned to the ring last night with a relatively convincing points decision victory over long-time rival Junior Fa. The twelve round fight took place at Spark Arena where the former WBO World Champion took all three judges scorecards along with a shiny new Oceania Heavyweight belt for the pool room.

Fa entered to chorus of applause over the top of his Entrance music, Don’t Worry Be Happy, alluding to his nice guy image. Unfortunately it was maybe the nice guy attitude that undid Fa as Parker looked to get the better of tight encounters landing body shots in the clinch.

Fa would later say he “exposed Parker” in the press conference, also saying he “always knew he has the better of Parker”, and to his credit l Fa fought well in the back and forth battle, though trainer Eugene Bareman was slightly more honest saying that they didn’t do enough to win tonight.

Ever the magnet for controversy, the judges scorecards seemed to disagree on how convincing that win was, with one judge scoring the fight 115-113, another scoring the fight 117-111 and a blind mental patient who wandered in off the street apparently scoring it 119-109.

Fa created trouble for Parker with good foot movement throughout the fight though Parker still seemed to catch him in the early rounds, forcing Fa to become more aggressive from the fourth onwards.

A cut opened up over the left eye of Fa in the later rounds which Parker promptly picked on, Fa later stating that it came from a head clash.

In all, a good win from Parker, though an anticlimactic end to the months of hype and what had, to that point, been another excellent event from the DUCO team.

Betway had Junior Fa at odds of 6.5 so the result was predicted

Earlier in the night David Nyika made his much anticipated professional debut, securing a surreal TKO victory over Jesse Maio. Maio ducked in looking to slip a shot though wore a glancing right hand off the back of his head sending him appropriately to the canvas, though what followed was all but normal. Maio, who looked to be completely lucid and capable or returning to his feet, then remained down whilst protesting the shot to the back of the head while the referee co tiny red to count him down, and then out. The crowed echoed boos through the Arena as the referee seemed to reconsider but then decided again to waive the fight off, with even Pampellone saying it was a disappointing stoppage.

Elsewhere in the amateur to pro summits, Jerome Pampellone put on a much more entertaining display, if not short as well, securing a first round knockout over the unfavoured Anthony Amouta, ending the fight with a flurry of punches.

It was the main undercard that might have delivered the most unanticipated entertainment, seeing heavyweight Hemi Ahio take on Julius Long once again. When the two last met the fight was a resounding points decision for Ahio which saw Julius spend most of his time fighting off the ropes in trademark style and failing to use any of his more than seven foot frame to any effect. The rematch threatened to be the same affair in the early rounds, but suddenly roared to life as Julius surprisingly put Hemi on the floor in the fourth. It was Hemi though that would finally put the exclamation point on this one with a left, right combination and a massive left hook that put the lights out for the visibly huskier Long.

Other highlights included Parker’s younger brother taking his sixth professional win before the broadcast began, and of course the painful but inevitable announcement from ring announcer Lt Dan Hennessy halfway through the event that Auckland would return to lockdown at 6am the next day. Despite that news though, the absolutely packed arena roared with energy throughout, with the incredibly entertaining DUCO event thankfully coming just in time to avoid yet another postponement. All credit to the DUCO team, and the fantastic fighters throughout.

Written by Jamie Patterson

Jamie Patterson is the Creative Director for New Zealand Fighter. Jamie has been involved with boxing and martial arts for most of his life. He boxed as a teenager and competed in point fighting whilst at University. As a photographer Jamie has taken pictures at some of the largest boxing and MMA events in the country in recent years. Jamie has been a professional writer working in advertising and television for almost a decade and brings a wealth of creative experience to the team.