Joseph Parker’s WBO Title Win
The 10th of December 2016 was a big day for New Zealand sport with boxing enthusiasts and punters glued to their television screens. On this day, local boxer Joseph Parker became the first New Zealand born boxer to win the World Heavyweight WBO title.
The 24-year-old also became of one the youngest fighters to win the coveted title. Born in South Auckland, Parker turned professional in 2012, training under the legendary Sir Bob Jones. We take a look at the title fight against arch rival Andy Ruiz Jr which took him to the top of the world.
How it Went Down
In the hours leading up to his big fight, Parker watched his younger brother John on television go head to head against Ash McConville in his catch weight contest.
John subsequently won his bout prompting Parker to send a message to his promoter saying that he had a good feeling and that a victory was meant to be.
Walking into the ring in front of a crowd packed stadium with 10 000 sports fans, Parker seemed relaxed and in good spirits, with a hint of smile on his face.
With the bout being televised and beamed to millions of viewers from around the world, Parker’s game plan was to be patient and suss out his competition before throwing in a full-blown attack.
A Slow Start
His slow start meant that Riuz Jr won the first four rounds before Parker was able to unleash his blinding jabs and occasional right hand.
His first solid round win came in round five with the crowd cheering him on with every punch. In the 6th round, the two kept their distance only trading punches with 30 seconds on the clock.
From round seven, Parker was able to keep Ruiz Jr away with ease and landing a good graze about his opponent’s right eye.
Parker Finds his Feet
Round eight and nine were extremely close with Parker getting a slight edge. The 10th round belonged to Parker who landed several big hits which Ruiz Jr shook off without much fuss.
The 11th again belonged to Parker who landed a stunning left, right combination but was unable to hurt his opponent.
The final round was an exhausting trading of punches which went the way of Parker again.
Claiming The Title
At the end of the fight, Parker won with majority decision making him the heavyweight champion of the world. Speaking to the press, Parker said it was a dream come true.
He thanked his country for their support and the opportunities he had been given. He also thanked Andy for putting on a good fight. He praised his opponents speed and agility in the ring.
The title fight takes Parker’s record to 22 undefeated professional fights and standing on top of the world. His opponent, Andy Ruiz Jr moves to a record of 29 wins with a single loss in his career.
In February 2017, Joseph Parker was ranked as the fifth best heavyweight boxer in the world by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. Ring magazine subsequently ranked him seventh best in the world. Parker is a favourite among fans as well as punters accessing NZ betting sites.