Joseph Parker retains WBO heavyweight title with points win over Hughie Fury
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 24/09/17 12:44pm
Joseph Parker retained his WBO heavyweight title after a majority decision points victory over Hughie Fury in Manchester.
The New Zealander fought aggressively on the front foot from the start to earn victory from two of the judges, although wide tallies of 118-110 were harsh on the disciplined work of Fury, with the third official scoring it a 114-114 draw.
Cousin Tyson Fury, who previously held the WBO belt, was watching from ringside and could not contain his frustration after the verdict was announced.
From the first bell, Fury attempted to frustrate Parker with his elusive movement and probing jab, but the champion tried to close the range with stabbing jabs of his own in the second round.
Fury countered with a crisp right hand in the third, and a jolting uppercut stopped Parker in his tracks in the fourth, although the challenger was then forced to the ropes by a flurry of punches, and a head clash left him with a cut eye.
Lifted by the sight of his bloodied opponent, Parker rammed home a big right hand in the fifth, and both men traded from close range in the sixth with Fury standing his ground.
Parker was showing more urgency, catching Fury with a searing straight right in the seventh, but Fury maintained his composed boxing and unloaded an eye-catching uppercut in the eighth.
Stern words from trainer Kevin Barry sparked a response from Parker, who came storming out for the ninth and hammered in a succession of hooks, although Fury did have success with his own right hand.
Parker almost toppled over the ropes as he tried to land a telling blow on the fleet-footed Fury in the 10th.
But the Kiwi snared Fury in the corner in the 11th, ramming in another clubbing right, and ended the fight strongly by hammering in hooks until the final bell.