Tucked away in a leafy Auckland suburb is a world-renowned gym where Tongan boxer Junior Fa is working out full-time for what is being billed as the ‘Fight of the Century.’
The hype machine is cranking up ahead of the former Commonwealth Games representative boxer’s showdown with Joseph Parker next month.
Junior Fa trained in front of media this week with the pre-bout tension building.
The Mt Eden gym, City Kickboxing, oozes with talented people of all ages and ethnicities.
Fa, who holds the WBO Oriental Interim Heavyweight title, said people travelled from across the district to be part of “the big team and the big family”.
“It feels like a big team and a big family, rather than just individuals doing an individual sport because it is an individual sport but when we go into the ring we basically carry our gym with us, because there’s a lot of team mates that have helped us to get there and there are a lot of people that have sacrificed there time to help us.”
City Kickboxing has established a reputation for producing quality fighters across combat sports. It’s a gym of world champions with the likes of Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski training here alongside ranked UFC fighters Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France.
It’s what you’d expect from any other gym when you first step foot inside – the smell of sweat, socks and humidity from the bodies in close proximity, making every last minute count as their morning classes come to an end.
People walking in and out of the familiar doors attempt to throw a playful kick at anyone they pass but the room goes quiet when Junior jumps into the ring.
SOURCE – RADIO NZ