Junior Fa

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Junior Fa
Statistics
Real nameUaine Fa Jr.
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height196 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Reach210 cm (83 in)
NationalityNew Zealander
Born (1989-10-19) 19 October 1989 (age 29)
Papakura, New Zealand
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights18
Wins18
Wins by KO10
Losses0

Uaine Fa Junior (born 19 October 1989) is a New Zealand professional boxer. He has held the interim WBO Oriental Heavyweight title since June 2018.

As an amateur he represented Tonga at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze medal in the super-heavyweight division; he also represented Tonga at the Oceania Championships, winning gold and multiple silver medals. As of February 2017, Fa is ranked as the world's 57th best heavyweight by BoxRec, and currently, boasts a 62% knockout-to-win ratio.

Fa had a successful amateur career, from beating Joseph Parker to competing at consecutive Commonwealth Games and Oceania Championships and being one of New Zealand's national champions. Fa made his professional debut in 2016 when he defeated Richard Tutaki in a first-round knockout. The following year he went on to become the New Zealand's professional heavyweight champion, preceding Sonny Bill Williams.

Amateur career[edit]

For much of his amateur career, Fa began under the guidance of coach and trainer Lolo Heimuli. Heimuli brought Fa to his Balmoral Lee Gar Gym in 2006 after discovering his coach failed to show at his first amateur fight. Being born and raised in Papakura, New Zealand, Fa decided to represent Tonga as an amateur. He was the flag bearer for Tonga on two occasions at the Commonwealth Games.

At the Oceanian Amateur Boxing Championships, Fa featured in three consecutive events. In 2008 in Apia, Samoa he won a silver medal. Fa fought for a qualification spot and progression into the 2008 Summer Olympics. He began with a points decision victory over New Zealand senior North Island champion, Isikeli Maama in the quarter-finals. He followed up with another win over Australian Steven Rudic before losing out to Daniel Beahan on points in the final to gain gold.[1] During 2010, Fa return home with a gold medal from the tournament held in Canberra. He controlled an emphatic win over the host nations, Alexey Mukhin. Establishing himself an 8–1 score in his favor.[2] He again had a chance to make it to the Olympics after having to win an Oceania gold medal to secure a position. Unfortunately, Fa instead won silver. He started off with a close win over New Zealand up and coming prospect and later rival, Joseph Parker. He continued his winning streak with a first-round technical knockout over Jubilee Arama in the semi-finals but lost the final against Johan Linde to settle for second place.[3]

Fa was drafted for two seasons of the World Series of Boxing. His first season was with the Indian Mumbai Fighters Franchise as a mid season sign up for the 2011–12 season. He had a successful season and was ranked in the top 8 heavyweights for the series. His second season was during 2012–13 where he was drafted by the British Lionhearts where he fought the likes of Oleksandr Usyk and former multiple Olympic silver medalist, Clemente Russo. He was based in Sheffield, England training alongside the likes of Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce. His first encounter with Joshua was when he trained with him back in mid-2011 when Joshua was just starting out.

Parker rivalry[edit]

Fa and Joseph Parker fought four times during their amateur careers, with two victories and two defeats each. Their first encounter was at the 2009 Boxing New Zealand National Championships held in Rotorua. The pair competed in the super-heavyweight final, Fa defeating Parker 8–4. Fa was also awarded the Bill O'Connor Cup for the youngest senior titleholder.[4] A month later Parker forced a second-round standing eight count and a points win over Fa in a Samoan Tsunami Boxing appeal event at the North Shore Events Centre, organized by David Tua.[5] On 12 June, they meet for a third time in an amateur world-class contest rematch. It showcased as the main event at The Night of the Young Champions from ABA Stadium in 2010.[6] Parker won by a large margin of twelve points.

In their fourth contest, Fa and Parker fought in a do-or-die opportunity to secure a place at the 2012 Summer Olympics during the Oceania Boxing Championships in Canberra, Australia.[7] Parker had four opponents in the super-heavyweight division, one being Fa. Parker was eliminated, Fa claiming a closely fought three-round encounter eleven points to eight. He dropped the first round 2–1 but came back strongly in the second to secure a decisive 3-point lead that he protected when the final three-minute joust ended in stalemate.[8]

Professional career[edit]

Early beginnings[edit]

Fa turned pro in February 2016, where he featured at The Night of the Freaks from ASB Stadium, Auckland. After taking three years out of the sport to have a family, Fa decide to return to the sport. Assembling an impressive team, Lolo Heimuli as coach, former New Zealand Olympic sprinter Mark Keddell as manager, Shane Cameron as mentor along with input from strength and conditioning guru Angus Ross.[9] Fa fought veteran Richard Tutaki, winning in a first-round knockout.[10] Something Fa's amateur rival, Joseph Parker couldn't do as it took him three rounds in his third bout. In only his second professional fight, Fa was added to the Taranaki Explosion Fight Night card on 2 April.[11] Fa showing he was far too good for Clint Foa'i whose corner threw the towel in during the first round after their fighter was hit hard in the ribs, his pain obvious.[12] Fa fought in quick succession after another successful victory over Australian based Jayson Aloese, participating in the Royal Rampage event. Aloese whom was undefeated as both a corporate boxer and a professional, lost on points in a four-round fight by unanimous decision.[13] Fa remained unbeaten, extending his record to four an zero. In the co-main event, New Zealand prospect Fa won his second unanimous points victory in a one-sided contest against fellow New Zealander Junior Pati. Fa landing big punches and huge shots, but could not end the fight early with Pati being remarkably durable.[14] Fa also switched coaches, learning off Henry Schuster.

Progressing to five straight victories, Fa added another win to his professional record, knocking out his debuting countryman Tussi Asafo in the first round.[15] The fight took place at ABA Stadium, listed as the main event at FA WARS: The Force Awakens. In the buildup to the bout, Fa injured his leg which hindered his training two weeks prior the fight. He then fought American Samoan heavyweight Alapati A'asa on Joseph Parker's undercard against Alexander Dimitrenko. Fa used his significant reach advantage effectively, keeping busy with his jab to frustrate A'asa who struggled to get on the inside. Although A'asa kept busy with his stalking style but found few inroads against Fa's defense which included some great footwork to get out of troubling situations.[16] Sustaining an unbeaten record, Fa once again finished with another early first-round knockout. The co-main event at CTP's Judgement Day, Fa fought Junior Maletino Iakopo, however the fight endend quickly after Fa's power finished Iakopo early.[17]

Closing in on Fa's debut year as a professional, he featured once again on one of New Zealand's most promising boxing events, The Big Bash. Hosted by Auckland Netball Centre in Auckland and broadcast on TV3. Originally scheduled to fight Daniel Tai for the vacant NZPBA heavyweight title, but due to Tai's hand injury, the title bout was called off. Instead Fa fought in a four rounder against Moe Hussain. A former kickboxer, with a record of ten wins and six losses, took the fight on short notice. Fa destroyed his opponent, the quickest fight of the night, ending in thirty seconds within the first round by technical knockout.[18] With details of the undercard revealed for Joseph Parker's world title bout against Andy Ruiz, Fa was announced set to square off against Argentina's Pablo Matías Magrini, being Fa's toughest fight of his career. With eight fights since turning professional. Fa, was keen to showcase his skills with Top Rank's Bob Arum, one of many global promoters that watched on.[19] But Fa was to strong, thumping Magrini with a third-round technical knockout, felling the diminutive Argentinian with a series of left-hand body blows.[20]

Late January 2017, it was announced Fa had agreed to terms signing a three-year deal, which included clauses for a possible fourth under the tutelage of Lou DiBella. DiBella, a former boss of HBO's Boxing set up and looking after seventy fighters, including WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, where Fa would be joining him as DiBella's only other heavyweight fighter. The deal would see him fight at least three times in the United States per year, flying over fifteen days before every bout.[21] His first challenge would be on the undercard of Wilder's title defense against Gerald Washington on 25 February at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Taking on American journeyman Keith Barr over six rounds.[22]

Fa won his fight against Keith Barr, of Glenville, West Virginia, en route to a third-round knockout. Barr was knocked down three times before the fight was stopped by the referee. He beat down his opponent with left jab-right combinations time and again. He dropped Barr, in the second round and hammered him around the ring for most of the round. In the third round, he landed at will, connecting with about two dozen unanswered punches before a left hook to the body dropped Barr to a knee. Moments later, Fa landed another body shot for another knockdown, and referee Flynn Gerald waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 36 seconds. The win improved Fa's undefeated record to ten wins.[23]

Career breakout[edit]

In March, Fa prepared for the vacant New Zealand Professional Boxing Association heavyweight title against Daniel Tai, at the ABA Stadium in Auckland. It would be his first title shot. Tai, an Auckland-based fighter, had been fighting professionally since the year 2000, whilst he boast a record of 22 wins and 9 losses. With only one loss coming by knockout, in 2001, by legendary Australian champion Danny Green.[24] With the title being vacant for almost five years and last held by Sonny Bill Williams, this was Fa's most difficult fight of his career to note as he was hampered by a back injury and forced to live off the jab. Tai applied pressure and landed several clean blows throughout the bout Tai, however, Fa did enough to win most of the rounds. The judges were divided, however, with one judge scoring a draw in a disappointing majority decision win to Fa.[25]

Fa won his twelfth pro-fight after defeating veteran Australian boxer Hunter Sam by unanimous decision. Sam, the former Australian champion, proved to be a difficult opponent and played tough throughout the fight. The bout was the main event of the Indian Motorcycle Fight Night organized by New Zealand boxing legend Shane Cameron.[26] He then featured as one of six undefeated prospects making their SHOBOX debut, being matched with Pittsburgh's Fred Latham in an eight-round bout. The fight took place at the Masonic Temple in Cleveland, and telecasted on Showtime.[27] Fa scored an impressive victory, knocking out Latham in the first round. His hand-speed, pressure, and punch selection were too much with referee Clifford Pinkney having no option but to stop the fight early.[28]

He returned to the United States, fighting the former three-time amateur champion, Craig Lewis in Deadwood, South Dakota.[29] Fa was originally scheduled to fight Joey Dawejko.[30] But he remained undefeated after going the distance, claiming a majority decision win. Fa established the jab in the opening two rounds while looking to land a big right hand on several occasions. Lewis continuously tied up Fa but Fa landed the more power shots to earn the decision.[31]

Originally confirmed to fight Richard Lartey from Ghana, Fa instead fought the current Mexican heavyweight champion Luis Pascaul for the vacant WBO Oriental title.[32] He headlined live on Sky Sports at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland, an event promoted by Shane Cameron and co-promoted by Lou DiBella.[33] He won a unanimous points victory over Pascaul but gained criticism after failing to find combinations to back up some punishing one-off punches. Fa evidently won every round on the judge's scorecards with Pascual offering nothing on attack apart from lunging in for body shots. His main sparring partner Malik Scott was in the corner and persistently asked for more throughout the fight but Fa couldn't deliver.[34]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
18 fights 18 wins 0 losses
By knockout 10 0
By decision 8 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
18 Win 18–0 United States Dominick Guinn UD 10 28 Jun 2019 United States Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 France Newfel Ouatah TKO 1 (10), 2:50 2 Mar 2019 United States Voinovich Center, Columbus, Ohio, U.S. Retained interim WBO Oriental heavyweight title
16 Win 16–0 Argentina Rogelio Omar Rossi KO 1 (10), 1:26 15 Dec 2018 New Zealand Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand Retained interim WBO Oriental heavyweight title
15 Win 15–0 Mexico Luis Pascual UD 10 22 Jun 2018 New Zealand Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Auckland, New Zealand Won interim WBO Oriental heavyweight title
14 Win 14–0 United States Craig Lewis MD 8 9 Mar 2018 United States Deadwood Mountain Grand, Deadwood, South Dakota, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 United States Fred Latham TKO 1 (8), 1:07 10 Nov 2017 United States Cleveland Masonic Temple, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Australia Hunter Sam UD 6 25 May 2017 New Zealand ABA Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
11 Win 11–0 New Zealand Daniel Tai MD 10 18 Mar 2017 New Zealand ABA Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand Won vacant NZPBA heavyweight title
10 Win 10–0 United States Keith Barr TKO 3 (6), 2:36 25 Feb 2017 United States Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Argentina Pablo Matías Magrini KO 3 (8), 0:55 10 Dec 2016 New Zealand Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
8 Win 8–0 New Zealand Moe Hussain TKO 1 (4), 0:31 12 Nov 2016 New Zealand Auckland Netball Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
7 Win 7–0 New Zealand Junior Maletino Iakopo TKO 1 (6), 2:36 28 Oct 2016 New Zealand ASB Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
6 Win 6–0 American Samoa Alapati A'asa UD 6 1 Oct 2016 New Zealand Vodafone Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
5 Win 5–0 New Zealand Tussi Asafo KO 1 (4), 2:56 26 Aug 2016 New Zealand ABA Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
4 Win 4–0 New Zealand Junior Pati UD 4 1 Jul 2016 New Zealand ASB Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
3 Win 3–0 New Zealand Jayson Aloese UD 4 16 Apr 2016 New Zealand Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
2 Win 2–0 New Zealand Clint Foai TKO 1 (4), 2:17 2 Apr 2016 New Zealand TSB Stadium, New Plymouth, New Zealand
1 Win 1–0 New Zealand Richard Tutaki KO 1 (4), 0:48 13 Feb 2016 New Zealand ASB Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand Professional debut

Honors and awards[edit]

Amateur[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2008 Oceania Olympic Qualifiers" (PDF). Boxing Australia. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
  2. ^ "2010 Oceania Championships, Canberra" (PDF). Boxing Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. ^ "2012 Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event, Canberra Australia" (PDF). Boxing Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Nationals wrap up". Boxing New Zealand. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  5. ^ "New Zealand's boxing past and its future – Tuna Scanlan and Joseph Parker". Pacific Scoop. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Night of champions". Boxing New Zealand. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  7. ^ "It's do-or-die for heavyweight Joseph Parker". Stuff. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Olympic boxing hopes over for Joseph Parker". Stuff. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Junior Fa plotting path to take on NZ boxing champion Joseph Parker". Stuff. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Uaine Fa Jr vs Richard Tutaki". Live Stream. 13 February 2016. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Junior Fa added to Taranaki Explosion Fight Night card". Stuff. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Sam Rapira wins unanimous points decision over Samoan champion". Stuff. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Uaine Fa wins for the third time at royal rampage competition". Loop. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Gunnar Jackson loses NZ titles, Junior Fa remains unbeaten on Big Bash event". Stuff. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Junior Fa adds another knockout to his record". Boxing News. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Joseph Parker undercard - fight by fight". Stuff. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Results: Berridge wins grudge match". Boxing News 24. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Upset at the Big Bash". Scoop. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Joseph Parker TV pay-per-view price for Andy Ruiz fight revealed". Stuff. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Joseph Parker beats Andy Ruiz Jr to become first Kiwi WBO heavyweight champion, Jeff Horn defeats Ali Funeka". Fox Sports. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Junior Fa hoping for career breakout away from Parker's 'shadow' with major overseas deal". One News. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Kiwi boxing heavyweight Junior Fa to fight on Deontay Wilder's world title undercard". Stuff. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Junior Fa wins by 3rd round knockout". Matangi Tonga. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Junior Fa prepares for first title fight". Matangi Tonga. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Junior Fa claims vacant New Zealand heavyweight crown". World Boxing News. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Junior Fa wins 12th fight via decision". Matangi Tonga. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Rosa vs. Evans Tops ShoBox Quadrupleheader, November 10". Boxing Scene. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Junior Fa scores impressive knockout against Fred Latham". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  29. ^ "Boxing: Junior Fa faces toughest test in hunt for rise up rankings". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  30. ^ "'We feel like this could be the breakthrough year' - Kiwi boxer Junior Fa prepares for US bout". One News. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  31. ^ "Kiwi heavyweight Junior Fa scores majority decision over American Craig Lewis". Stuff. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Junior Fa Headlines His First Show in New Zealand". Boxing Scene. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  33. ^ "Boxing: Junior Fa to face Ghanaian fighter as he seeks rankings rise". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  34. ^ "Junior Fa labours to points win over Mexican champion Luis Pascual". Stuff. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  35. ^ "Finals Nationals 2009". Boxing New Zealand. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  36. ^ "22010 Commonwealth Games, India" (PDF). Boxing Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Sonny Bill Williams
NZPBA heavyweight champion
18 March 2017 – present
Incumbent
Vacant
Title last held by
Chauncy Welliver
WBO Oriental heavyweight champion
Interim title

22 June 2018 – present
Incumbent
Vacant
Title last held by
Dillian Whyte
WBO International heavyweight champion
2 March 2019 – present
Incumbent