25 Sep 2017

Parker fails to deliver the punch

8:50 am on 25 September 2017

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker may have retained his WBO world title against Hughie Fury in Manchester yesterday but he's done little to inspire the lucrative UK boxing market, writes Matt Chatterton.

Joseph Parker with trainer Kevin Barry

Joseph Parker with trainer Kevin Barry Photo: photosport

Regardless of whether you think Joseph Parker deserved his majority points decision over Hughie Fury, the 25-year-old New Zealander should be as frustrated today as he was in the ring yesterday that he didn't put on the show his team have been promising his fans for so long now.

For the better part of two years we have failed to really see what Parker is supposedly made of. We are told he has some of the fastest hands in the heavyweight division and the power to match, but where were they in Manchester?

Joseph Parker fights Hughie Fury

Joseph Parker fights Hughie Fury Photo: Photosport

Parker revealed earlier this year that he's been battling shoulder and elbow injuries but he was supposedly clear of these before his fight with Fury. If that's the case, why could he not land that killer blow we were promised?

Yes Fury, like his infamous cousin Tyson, is an awkward fighter who's constantly on the back foot but Parker did not show any real signs of finishing the fight on his own terms. What he lacked was the decent footwork, head movement or combinations that could test Fury.

And if Parker couldn't do that against Fury, a man not even considered to be among Britain's top 10 heavyweights, how is he going to do it against the likes of Anthony Joshua or American champion Deontay Wilder?

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko fight at Wembley Stadium in front of a 90 thousand strong crowd.

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko fight at Wembley Stadium in front of a 90 thousand strong crowd. Photo: Photosport

In Joshua's megafight against former champion Wladimir Klitschko earlier this year, Joshua appeared out of his depth in the early rounds. He was static, if not robotic and offered little variety, yet the young Brit managed to adapt his game plan in the later rounds of the bout and knocked out a man who'd only ever been stopped three previous times in a career spanning 69 fights.

It's that sort of ringmanship that Parker is missing.

No one in Britain is taking Joseph Parker seriously, especially after yesterday's performance, and given that's where the money and attention in the heavyweight division is right now, that should be a big concern for him.

Joseph Parker.


Parker needs to think very carefully about the direction he wants his future to take. As it stands, his coach Kevin Barry and promoter Duco have got him to where he is today and they deserve credit for helping the young South Aucklander for achieving his dream.

However in the world of professional boxing, nothing lasts forever and I believe it's time for Parker to carve out his own path and fulfil his potential.