Joseph Parker Gets The Nod Over Dereck Chisora
In a true cross-roads battle, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and respected top contender Dereck Chisora will go head to head. While the fight has not been billed as such, this is a much needed win for both men if they strive to get another shot at a title. On the line is the WBO Inter-Continental title and the rights to possibly face champion Anthony Joshua in the near future.
Parker did not look good in his last fight against amateur rival Junior Fa in February. He picked up a unanimous decision victory but it was far from that. Parker found himself getting out-boxed and out-worked for most of the fight. He had to ultimately make a case for himself late when Fa dealt with fatigue. It became obvious when the scorecards were read that the former WBO champion already had the fight in the bag before a single punch was thrown! Now Ranked #3 by the WBO and #6 by both the WBC and IBF sanctioning bodies, he hopes to parlay a win into an opportunity to be a champion again.
Chisora’s career has been hanging on by a thread for years now. Although his resume has a plethora of recognizable names comprising it, he lacks the big wins necessary to consider him a serious contender. In 42 bouts, he’s had one world title bid against then WBC champion Vitali Klitshcko in February 2012 where he was dominated over twelve rounds. Much worse, the bid really wasn’t deserved as he came off a loss to current WBA Gold champion Robert Helenius two months prior.
The 37 year-old finds himself coming off a dominating loss to former undisputed cruiserweight champion and 3kingsboxing.com #5 ranked fighter Oleksandr Usyk prior to this bout. Regardless, he still holds a gift ranking with the WBC at the fifteenth spot.
Needless to say, Parker may have more to lose since he is ranked by three of the four major sanctioning bodies. However, Chisora may be facing retirement if he cannot pick up the win.
A TANK ONLY A QUARTER FULL
Chisora started the fight as he normally does. He puts 100% of his power in his punches, trying to get his opponent out of there early. It worked in his favor early as an overhand right put Parker down seconds into the first round. The Kiwi immediately recovered with a look of confusion on his face but seemed un-phased. The former champion is known for having a good chin, therefore, while Chisora got the early 10-8 round, the game-plan may not have been the best one to use throughout the fight. Unfortunately for him, that is the only way he knows how to fight.
Before the start of the third round, the Brit was sucking in large amounts of air. Meanwhile, Parker was still fresh and one could see how the rest of this fight would fare based on this alone. Although, the heart of Chisora could not be denied. On the verge of passing out in between rounds, he still maintained a high level of pressure. He worked the body early hoping to would pay dividends late and found a home for the overhand right. However, while his pressure was high, his work rate was moderate. He had the mental engine to push forward but physically he could only do so much.
Meanwhile, Parker made a living sitting on the outside and running his jab into Chisora’s face. With his opponent lacking any defensive awareness and only coming forward, the former champion had his way picking his shots off the back-foot. While he didn’t look overly impressive, Parker showed glimpses of why he received a heavy push to face unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua back in 2016 and 2017. His footwork was excellent and he dictated the pace for most of the middle and late rounds.
A RAZOR THIN VICTORY
By the final round, the British commentators felt the fight was a toss up. In the eyes of this author, Parker was ahead but needed to bank the round to avoid a controversial decision. Chisora came out swinging and landed two big overhand rights in the process. He applied a lot of pressure and kept the former champion on his backfoot but the pressure was mostly ineffective due to his fatigue. Parker kept his cool as he did the entire fight, picking him off with shots from mid-range and attempting to circle out of danger. By the final bell, 3kingsboxing.com felt Parker did enough to win the round.
When a fight involves Chisora, it is almost certain there will be some controversy involved. This bout was no different. After a prolonged wait, the judges turned in scorecards that amounted to a split-decision. With scores of 115-113 for Chisora and two cards for Parker of 116-111 and 115-113, the Kiwi squeaked by once again with a victory.
Of course as British and hardcore boxing fans have seen many times before, Chisora felt cheated and complained about the decision. Parker would then offer to give him an immediate rematch which the Brit did not turn down. Honestly, Chisora was impressive in the sense he kept applying pressure even though his gas tank was in the negative. However, when accessing the four criteria for judging: punch accuracy, defense, ring generalship and effective aggression, the right man won!
By: EJ Williams