Joe Joyce Stops Joseph Parker To Claim WBO Interim Title
A key heavyweight battle went down at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. It was there that Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce (15-0, 14 KO’s) battled Joseph “Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa” Parker (30-3, 21 KO’s) for the WBO ‘interim’ title.
After a standout amateur career which included winning a Super Heavyweight silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Joyce turned pro in October 2017. He has become one of the faces of the UK boxing scene.
Renowned for his aggressive style, ramrod of a jab, and toughness, the 37-year-old has previously captured the British, Commonwealth, WBC Silver, WBO International, and European heavyweight titles. His highlight performance up to this point was a tenth-round stoppage over Daniel Dubois in November 2020. Ranked number #1 (WBO), Joyce felt he was on the cusp of a world title shot.
He faced an opponent in Parker trying to get back to the mountain top of the division. Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa captured the WBO title with a decision win over Andy Ruiz in December 2016 and made two defenses before losing the belt to then-unified champ Anthony Joshua in March 2018. Parker’s career has been up and down since. But with a new trainer in Andy Lee, the WBO #2 ranked heavyweight came into this comment adamant he’s more driven and focused than ever.
WHO’S THE BOSS
After a standard feel out round, Joyce began falling into a good groove in the second. Yet, Juggernaut was able to buzz Parker a number of times with his powerful straight right hand in the third. Even though Joyce remained the aggressor, while fighting off the back foot, Parker enjoyed the best shots of the round by far. In fact, Joyce displayed a granite chin due to the amount of flush right fists he took to the jaw. Then again, this is nothing new about the Juggernaut!
Joyce continued to hold the edge over the next several rounds. Things went to bad to worse, however, when Parker not only got roughed up in the seventh but a punch slashed open a cut on his right eye. In an impressive show of heart though, Parker drew his line in the sand and really attempted to change the state of things. He even clobbered Joyce with a devastating right hook that he ate like one of grandma’s warm chocolate chip cookies. Despite his efforts, Juggernaut continued his measured assault.
THE POWER WAS TOO MUCH
Just as Parker was beginning to seriously wilt in the eleventh, Juggernaut left Parker spilling in the corner with a single left hook. Clearly discombobulated, the former champion only rose as far as his knees before being counted out.
This was a solid performance as Joyce is the first person to stop Parker. Now, the WBO interim champ will have to wait and see what is next for unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to know when he can get his shot at the full title!
By: Bakari Simpson