Joseph Parker Retains WBO Title After Beating Dereck Chisora

Joseph Parker beat Derek Chisora Saturday evening with a unanimous points victory in a titanic encounter to retain the WBO intercontinental heavyweight title at a raucous Manchester AO Arena.

New Zealander Parker had beaten the man nicknamed Del Boy by split decision following a brutal behind-closed-doors battle in May.

Seven months on, this incredible, energy-sapping rematch saw Chisora display a remarkable heart and resilience to go the distance against his 29-year-old rival.

Both men emerged with their reputations enhanced after a stunning 12-round scrap which saw Parker’s vicious right-hand uppercuts mete out considerable punishment to 37-year-old Chisora.

Parker knocked him down three times, yet Chisora simply did not know when he was beaten.

In the end, the judges all marked in Parker’s favour – 115-110, 115-111, 114-112 – and the win encouraged hopes of another crack at the world title for the Kiwi.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said Parker’s career was ‘alive and kicking’ following this latest success and the victorious fighter paid tribute to gallant opponent after a classic battle.

Parker said: ‘Derek was one tough guy and never stopped coming until the end.

‘He’s a credit to the sport of boxing and the crowd went mental when he walked out – they just want to support him.

‘But we practised and practised that uppercut. What a Christmas present.’

It remains to be seen if this spells the end for Chisora, who turns 38 later this month.

Parker added: ‘Personally, I’d like to see him walk away. He has given boxing everything, but that’s his decision.’

Emerging to a baying crowd who were fully behind Chisora, Parker must have felt he was entering a lion’s den. Yet he did not seem fazed in the slightest.

Parker tipped the scales at a career-high 251 lbs, almost 10 pounds heavier than last time and now a three-pound advantage over his rival.
Joseph Parker Retains WBO Title After Beating Dereck Chisora
Joseph Parker Retains WBO Title After Beating Dereck Chisora

He had prepared for the fight by training in Morecambe alongside close friend Tyson Fury, and their shared trainer Andy Lee.

It was a razor-sharp start from Parker this time around but steadied himself in the second round and the fight exploded into life as both men landed a flurry of heavy punches.

It was brutal stuff and Chisora fashioned a spirited response in the third round before Parker had him on the ropes again.

The crowd’s support for Chisora became more visible and audible as he fought desperately to stay in the contest, much to his credit.

Chisora continued to soak up the pressure in rounds four, five and six as he began to even things up and ask some questions of his own.

The seventh-round produced more drama as a beautiful right uppercut put Chisora down, but despite the pummelling, he regrouped again and hit back in style before the bell.

The eighth round saw some more brutal trading and Chisora was on the ropes again in the ninth but continued to slug it out until the bitter end.

Although Parker deservedly once again emerged victorious, his respect for Chisora was clear to see. And rightly so.

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