Seven seconds into his fight against Derek Chisora, Joseph Parker was knocked down.
Stunned but calm, Parker railed over the next 11 rounds to win a debatable 12-round split decision over Chisora at Manchester Arena in Manchester London, England Saturday night.
Scores were 115-113, Chisora, 116-111, Parker, and 115-113, Parker.
Chisora came flying out of his corner in round one and caught Parker with and an overhand right. The former heavyweight champion went down, got up at four, and fought back.
In round two, Parker tried to corral the bull rushes of Chisora. He moved to his right and threw his snappy jab. He followed with a right, but it was Chisora who connected with an overhand punch. Seconds later he did it again. Parker fired combinations, but most missed.
Chisora connected with another right hand in round three. Parker (29-2, 21 KOs) wanted to box, but whatever success he had was limited. Chisora was forcing the fight. Parker landed a combo. Parker connected with two left hooks in round four. He also landed a right. Chisora walked forward and fired rights to the body and head. Parker fought back.
In round five, Parker, still working off his back foot, jabbed and jabbed. Chisora bobbed and weaved and worked the body. Parker connected with a solid combination in round six. Chisora wound up and fired a right from his corner. This time it missed. He went back to pounding the body. He also landed an uppercut. Parker fired his own uppercut.
Round seven saw Parker circling. He pumped his left in Chisora’s face. And seconds later, a three-punch combination. Parker opened up some more on Chisora. The 37-year-old looked tired. Told to go back to the body by new trainer Buddy McGirt, Chisora tried. Parker was sharpshooting well. Both heavyweights unloaded hard shots on each other in the last 15 seconds of the stanza. Parker went back to work in round nine. Chisora marched forward. Parker was busier. He backed off, stepped in, and fired. Chisora looked gassed.
Parker connected with a sharp combination in round 10. Chisora (36-11, 23 KOs) ran into a left. Parker connected with a right. The super gutsy Chisora kept coming, but Parker appeared to be in control. Chisora banged to the body in round 11. Parker connected with a couple of rights that backed up Chisora. He also clipped Chisora with a left hook. Parker fired some ore punches in the last minute of the heat.
The fight appeared to be up for grabs entering the 12th and final round. Chisora connected with a right. Parker jabbed. Chisora was told to score points. Parker rallied back with lefts. He landed a wicked combination. Chisora dug deep and fought back.
“It was a tough fight,” said Parker. “I had to dig deep.”
“It’s difficult,” said a disappointed Chisora. “I train so hard everyday and this is the results I get.”
Source: John J. Raspanti