New Zealand based heavyweight Joseph Parker held on to his WBO heavyweight title on Sunday morning, defeating Hughie Fury in a lacklustre and controversial contest.
Both boxers brought an undefeated record into the bout which took place in front of Fury’s home-crowd at the Manchester Arena, United Kingdom.
With a lot of closely contested rounds, neither boxer looked confident ahead of judges decision, but Parker would earn the win with a pair of 118-10 cards and a 114-114 draw.
Parker stalked Fury early in what was a lively opening, with the 25-year-old Kiwi showing frustration unable to land clearly as Fury kept on the back foot and out of reach. Fury utilised a stiff jab and manoeuvred well to keep a large portion of the rounds very close, much closer than the ten rounds to two scorecard would suggest.
Parker had more success in the second half of the bout, finishing strongly, landing rights as Fury remained behind his jab, arguably not pressing the fight enough to get the decision.
While a lot of writers and fans saw the fight fairly even, Fury’s promoter slammed the decision and while talking to BBC radio said, “That is probably one of, if not the worse decisions that I’ve ever seen in my life. It was disgusting, absolutely disgusting”.
The controversy continued in the ring after the fight with a team member of Fury’s entourage, pathetically stealing the belt from Parker as he held it high only to return it shortly after after some shouting from both camps. Parker remained calm and composed during the shouting.
He now put himself in great position to face the winner of the Tony Bellew vs David Haye fight or possibly a mega-fight against the consensus number one in the heavyweight division, Anthony Joshua.