In front of 80,000+ vocal fight fans, WBA/IBF champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) added to his ever-expanding collection the WBO title of Joseph Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday night.
In a tactical affair, Joshua was made to go the distance for the first time in his 21 fight career by the mobile New Zealander, Judges at ringside had the fight wide on their scorecards by 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 which we felt may have been harsh on Parker.
Both men didn’t land a great deal throughout, on occasion, Joshua would land his racking uppercut which rocked the head back of Parker but as advertised his chin took the shots without drama.
Parker to his credit would also land the right hand on occasion but the one time in which he found success, referee Giuseppe Quarterone who was tasked to take control of the bout, simply made a hash of things as he was quick to get between the two men with cautions by the bucket load.
As the rounds wore on, the feeling that Joshua was in control was mirrored albeit widely on the scorecards that followed. The right man deservedly won but Parker did himself and his nation proud with a solid performance.
“I was always going to stick behind the jab, one of the most important weapons in boxing, and kept the right hand up. This is boxing. It’s what we do. Forget the hype. Joseph Parker is a good world champion. As I said before, this would be about boxing. The main thing now is I am the unified heavyweight champion of the world.”
And as for Wilder? “Let’s go baby, let’s go!” Joshua said. “And we’ll do it in London.” There is a rematch clause, which will have to be firmed up if Parker is to get his wish to “have another go”