Whyte beats Parker in heavyweight boxing clash
Joseph Parker’s boxing career has been sent spiralling by a one-two British combination that has New Zealand’s favourite heavyweight son at his knees.
The defeat to Anthony Joshua on March 31 in Cardiff was the first blow, the Kiwi losing his WBO title, not to mention his undefeated record when he was well outpointed by the British champ; now a unanimous points defeat to ‘Brixton Bomber’ Dillian Whyte on Sunday (NZT) at a rocking and jam-packed O2 Arena in London is the follow-up punch that has him heading towards a dark place.
Maybe he can come back from this. He is certainly vowing to.
But it’s a precipitous path now. He must rebuild his reputation and his standing in a crowded heavyweight top tier from a lower place than he has occupied in recent times. A shot at Joshua, or American WBC champ Deontay Wilder, are a long way off, at best. His chief hope at a high-profile, semi-decent money-spinner might be a rematch with Whyte.
But the really big-dollar, world-title fights are now a lot further away than they were before this intriguing contest in which Whyte, surprisingly, outboxed, outfoxed and definitely out-scrapped a man that many presumed to be the superior fighter.
Speaking afterwards, Whyte – nicknamed The Body Snatcher – said he wanted a rematch with WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua next.
“I would like to fight Joshua again,” he told Sky Sports. “There are still a lot of things to work on, but if he wants it he can have it.
“I might go out again in October or December. We’ll see. I’m still inexperienced and making mistakes.
“But I think there’s still another 40% left in me to come in.”
Parker, who was the first man to take undefeated Joshua to the final bell when they fought in Cardiff in March, had said he was ready “for a war” against Whyte.
His third UK fight proved to be just that as his speed and agility shone until he was roughed-up, wrestled against the ropes and bullied by his opponent.
Whyte took control from the second round onwards, walking forward with a powerful jab and forcing Parker into retorts from the back foot.
But the Auckland-born fighter recovered from that ninth-round knockdown to threaten a dramatic upset near the end as he trailed on the judges’ cards.
He had Whyte hurt with some quick right hands and sent the Briton to the canvas with 20 seconds left of the fight, but he got up to grapple his way to the final bell.
The other thundering heavyweight collision of the night saw Londoner Dereck Chisora knock out veteran Carlos Takam.
French-Cameroonian Takam, 37, fought bravely before being stopped late on by Anthony Joshua last October and seemed to have the home fighter in trouble during a brutal opening round.
Both men stood in close and traded, clubbing each other with thudding hooks, as a fit and firing Takam had the edge.
But Chisora, 34, who lost to Whyte in 2016, Tyson Fury two years earlier and has taken Vitali Klitschko all the way, was in good shape to withstand it.
Trailing on points going into the eighth round he dropped Takam with a huge right hand and finished it moments later with a similarly explosive shot.
“I bet you any money I win fight of the year with this fight,” he said. “Takam is a true tough African boy.
“I realised I could not trade toe-to-toe with him and knew the overhand right would catch him but couldn’t chuck it in the opening rounds because I would be left open.
“But in the later rounds I thought it’s time to send it home. He didn’t hurt me – I’m English nobody can hurt us.
“I’m bad. There’s no two ways about it but when I step in the arena I want to fight for the fans.”
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