Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker
4 months after his underwhelming UD loss to WBA, IBF, and now WBO heavyweight world champion, Anthony Joshua, former WBO heavyweight world champion, Joseph Parker, returns to the UK, to take on outspoken WBC Silver champion, Dillian Whyte.
Whyte and Parker have both lost to Anthony Joshua, but undefeated aside from Joshua, Whyte, losing in a back and fourth, competitively fought domestic grudge match late in 2015, getting knocked out cold by a devastating right uppercut in round 7, Parker, having taken Joshua the full 12 rounds, in an interesting, tentative fight, but losing a wide decision.
Amongst bookies, Parker is the favourite, amongst the boxing experts, people inside the boxing world, it is more or less a 50/50 fight. Whyte, not only with the home advantage, but coming off a brutal, brilliant win over bitter rival, former WBA Regular champion, Lucas Browne, having wanted to fight Parker for a long time.
Parker starts well, moves, looks too slick and agile for Whyte in round 1. Parker is the more illusive in round 2, but in what looks like another Parker round, they clash heads, and an off balance Parker falls, but the referee makes the error of counting for a knockdown.
Rounds 3-5 are very close, as Whyte is the aggressor, forces the pace, uses his jab, and Parker is defensive, lands the cleaner, sharper punches. Rounds 6-8 are better for Whyte, as he is able to drag Parker into an ugly dogfight, out work and bully Parker, attacking the body, walking Parker down.
Parker takes risks in round 9, and as Parker throws a big right hand at a seemingly easy target, Whyte counters with a brilliant left hook flush on the jaw, Parker goes down, and this time, he is hurt. Whyte starts to fade in round 10, and Parker comes on strong, really rallies in the last 2 rounds. In round 12, Whyte is close to done, his tank is empty, and Parker proves to have enough left to inflict a beating, he lands a clean right hand to the temple, dropping Whyte to his knees.
The outcome of the fight looks to depend on whether or not Whyte gets up. Whyte drags himself onto his feet, Parker gets right back on him and tries to resume his attack, but before he can find the shot to put Whyte down again, the bell goes.
One judge has Whyte a wide winner, another has it closer, but still a decisive margin, and a third judge scores it very close, but all the judges agree that Whyte is the winner.
After some disrespect in the build up, Whyte shows great sportsmanship, and so does Parker as always, there are no excuses from him.