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21 Feb 2018 16:24
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Boxing

    Parker retains WBO belt in win over Fury

    Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker has retained his WBO heavyweight title, beating Briton Hughie Fury by majority decision in Manchester.


    Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker has retained his WBO heavyweight title for a second time, downing Britain's Hughie Fury by majority decision.

    Parker spent more time on the front foot in Manchester and was more aggressive, but seldom landed telling blows on an elusive opponent.

    Fury, renowned for his gangly frame and awkward style, successfully stymied Parker's attempts to provoke a mano-a-mano slugfest and likely shaded the early rounds with his deft footwork and aloofness.

    Yet Parker managed to slowly cut down the distance between him and his opponent, landing heavier and heavier punches as the fight progressed.

    Prior to the fight, the 25-year-old Parker was expected to need a knockout victory to dispatch Fury, who enjoyed home advantage.

    He didn't achieve that, but his efforts were nevertheless enough to secure the win, with two judges giving him a 118-110 triumph and the third awarding a tie.

    "We knew he was awkward going in, his movement was really good - (but) the pressure, we caught him with hard punches," Parker said.

    "I felt we won the fight fairly."

    However, Parker's showing - and inability to brush aside a limited opponent - will not have Britain's prime heavyweight boxers quaking in their boots.

    Without a statement victory against Fury, Parker will need serious improvement before his next bout, potentially in December or the new year.

    He will first take a short break in New Zealand.

    Punching accuracy was a major issue as Parker fruitlessly stalked the 23-year-old Fury around the ring, often missing combinations.

    But he landed a nice shot in the fourth round that split Fury's eyebrow, with better rounds following in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

    By the end, he had done enough for victory - despite the protestations of the Fury camp, who had celebrated after the final bell in expectant glory.

    "Our plan was to come here (to the UK) and establish ourselves here. Now we've got a win under our belt, we can come back and set up some good fights - so we're excited for what the future holds," Parker said.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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