From Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales Anthony Joshua took on Joseph Parker in a heavyweight unification fight. Joshua put his IBF,WBA,IBO titles on the line, while Parker put up his WBO Title.
The opening round started slow with both men trying to establish their jab, It was a slow pace round with Joshua landing several right hands to the body. Parker seemed to come in with the mindset of fighting off his back foot. Parker stayed on his back foot while Joshua was being calculated and cutting the ring off on Parker, landing a good right hand to the head and body in the second round.
In the third round Joshua came out with a little more snap on his jab, while Parker remained calmed pumping out his jab. Joshua just missed an uppercut in the round while Parker landed a left hook while both men had a clash of heads. Through four rounds the fight was fought at a slow methodical pace with Joshua controlling the range while Parker used his jab to keep Joshua’s offense at home.
Joshua turned a jab into a left hook that hit Parker on the side of his face, while Parker continued to land shots to the body in the fifth round. Parker also landed a beautiful combination that landed flush while avoiding the punches coming back from Joshua. In the sixth it seemed like Parker hurt Joshua with a hook that landed, Parker seemed to be gaining confidence if you went by his body language.
It seemed through the midway point of the fight that Joshua had a little trouble finding his offense due to Parker’s jab. Parker seemed much quicker on the inside in the seventh round, it just didn’t seem like Joshua was looking his best in the fight, and I must point out the referee was not letting them fight their way out on the inside.
Joshua landed a nice left hook on the inside that Parker took well in round eight, it was a surprisingly close fight up to this point. By the ninth round it was evident the Joshua was trying to get his offensive output up, landing a nice uppercut on the inside. Parker got cut by an elbow on his left eye in the tenth round. Joshua also countered Parker’s jab in the round with a nice uppercut.
Going into the eleventh round it seemed like the fight had been fought at a very tactical pace with both men doing good things in the ring. Joshua landed a nice hook towards the end of the round while Parker countered to the body. Joshua appeared to be the more offensive minded fighter down the stretch in a surprisingly tactical fight that was fought at a measured distance throughout. The fight was not close on the scorecard however with Joshua winning a unanimous decision (118-110 2x,119-109).
Joshua won the WBO Heavyweight Championship of the World. He now holds the IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO titles. Joshua improves to 21-0 with 20KO’s while Parker (24-1,18KO’s) suffered his first defeat. Parker just didn’t take enough risk to win a fight in England.