Joseph Parker claims titanic victory over Derek Chisora as veteran survives 12 gruelling rounds

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  • Joseph Parker
    New Zealand boxer
  • Derek Chisora
    Boxer
 (PA)
(PA)

Derek Chisora produced a trademark, warrior-like display against Joseph Parker in what was likely his last major fight on the heavyweight scene.

At 37, the Brit lost his third fight for the WBO Intercontinental belt in a row, surely ending his hopes of once again competing for a world title. Parker, meanwhile, can hold out hope of reclaiming his old belt after coming through a gruelling contest.

The Manchester Arena rose for Chisora as he made his way to the ring but a first-round knockdown, like the pair’s first meeting in May, was not forthcoming as it was the New Zealander who this time flew out the traps.

A split decision awarded Parker the victory in May but he came out on Saturday night with much more serious intent, and had Chisora in big trouble in the third round.

Pinning the home favourite against the ropes, Parker asserted his authority and yet felt an instant rebuttal as Chisora began to show his never-say-die attitude. A survived count in the fourth suggested he was on the way out before unleashing a mega barrage on his opponent to rally the home crowd.

Any respite was temporary before Parker landed a seventh-round uppercut to again begin the count. Back on his feet, Chisora continually sought refuge in the corner and not only survived the ensuing rally but gave something back in return - underlining his heroic effort.

Chisora saw off yet another count in the eighth and, in the ninth, he found himself on the receiving end of a hefty barrage from a fighter not typically known for executing knockouts against the big guns.

Body shots continued to land for the veteran, however, to suggest a big upset could still be on the cards but lofty swings and misses emphasised the tiredness that was inevitably taking its toll.

Parker settled in to see out the final rounds and earn the victory via unanimous decision, although the scores of 114-112, 115-110 and 115-111 suggested a tighter fight than many of the boxing fraternity felt they had witnessed.

Weighing in ten pounds heavier than the first fight, Parker said to DAZN afterwards: “He was one tough guy, honestly. It felt like a continuation from the first fight and he never stopped coming until the end.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“I felt a lot stronger than the first fight, it was important to start strong and not be negative from the beginning. I followed the gameplan as best I could but as you can see there are still a lot of improvements to be made.

“I just rushed it, I just got too excited - but there’s a lot of practice to be done. [Chisora] is a credit to the sport of boxing, very entertaining and the crowd went mental when he came out.”

The question now turns to Chisora’s next move, with a possible retirement on the cards even if the mere mention of hanging up his gloves has been met with stern ripostes in recent years.

Promoter Eddie Hearn stated: “Congratulations to Joseph Parker because he needed to box as well as he did tonight, because Derek Chisora is not human.

“How that fight went 12 rounds I’ll never know. He deserves so much credit - zero quit in him.”

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