Junior Fa has thrown the first verbal jab in the build-up to the now-confirmed all-Kiwi boxing bout between himself and Joseph Parker, saying he believes he has been better than the former world champion "for a long time".
Fa and Parker will finally settle their rivalry on December 11 at Auckland's Spark Arena and at today's fight announcement, Fa revealed just how confident he is entering it.
"Joseph Parker has fought great, great champions in his time," Fa said.
"I haven't really fought any household names just yet so I think this is all the reason for me to train hard and to prove to myself and everyone else that I am better than Joseph Parker.
"I've believed that for a long time."
Fa, currently 19-0 professional fights and the current WBO oriental interim heavyweight title holder, trains at world-renowned Auckland gym City Kickboxing where coach Eugene Bareman has been helping him prepare for a bout with Parker.
"Every now and then we'd be working on certain things that would work against Joe but not specifically training for Joe," Fa said.
"We were always training specific things but never actually focused on Joe just because we knew one day this fight would happen.
"Now is the time to really develop those skills and techniques and bring them out on fight night."
Fa won two of his four amateur fights against Parker before the both went pro.
He currently sits sixth in the WBO's heavyweight rankings, three places behind Parker.