Joseph Parker shocks Deontay Wilder in heavyweight upset - Watchtower media

Joseph Parker shocks Deontay Wilder in heavyweight upset

New Zealand's Joseph Parker wrecked all of fellow former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's plans with a stunning unanimous decision win in Riyadh; Dmitry Bivol defended the WBA light-heavyweight title, dropping Britain's Lyndon Arthur and winning every round for all three judges.

Joseph Parker stunned Deontay Wilder in a heavyweight upset, winning a unanimous decision after 12 rounds in Riyadh.

Both Wilder and Parker were former heavyweight champions, Parker once the holder of the WBO belt and Wilder a dominant WBC titlist until he lost the belt to Tyson Fury.

But Wilder is one of the most fearsome punchers in the sport and was expecting to set up a showdown with Anthony Joshua with a tune-up win over Parker.

However, the New Zealander wrecked all of those plans with a stunning unanimous decision win, taking it 118-111, 118-110 and 120-108 on the judges' cards.

Wilder was patient through far too much of the contest. This was his first bout of the year and he only had one round of action in 2022, when he knocked out Robert Helenius. The 38-year-old was surely cautious of ring rust.

As Wilder waited, Parker essayed a one-two and tapped him with a right cross too.

Parker lunged in with a strong left hook at the start of the third round. Wilder shifted from side to side, a look of concentration etched on his face.

The New Zealander came forward with bursts of minor activity. He caught Wilder out with another little one-two.

The fight exploded into life in the fourth round. Wilder stepped in swinging and missing. Parker smashed a combination into Wilder, and the American slung his dangerous right back, opening up in reply.

The New Zealander pressed in with a good attack to close out the round and Wilder felt a heavy right cross.

In the sixth round Parker caught Wilder on the end of a right thrown high over the American's guard.

Wilder shot his backhand at him but Parker took it on his glove.

The American started to step up his attack, striking Parker a few steps back.

He needed more urgency. Instead Parker cantered in and clubbed left hooks into the American.

Wilder got himself forward, but Parker thumped him back with a right hand.

For an instant he seemed to make Wilder's legs stutter with another right.

Wilder got to Parker at the start of the eighth round. Wilder whacked him into the ropes. Parker was out of position, caught and momentarily in trouble.

He worked his way out of it though. And then he hurt Wilder, a huge right stunning the American.


Parker attacked ferociously, blasting big punches into a ragged Wilder.

In the next round Parker smacked him with a right, then a big left.

Wilder jabbed out, hitting nothing but air, and then slugged a right hook into the side of Parker's head, trying to recover himself.

In the 10th round Wilder threw little, even though he really needed to change the momentum of the battle.

Parker bored in with a left hook, setting up another solid right.

The American did plant a jab on Parker, but it was only a single shot. He looked to be breathing heavily, perhaps anxious of being caught and he blundered onto another overarm right.

In the final round suddenly Wilder did look desperate. He slugged for Parker. A reckless right hook though swept through the air, missing wildly.

He cracked a right into Parker and the latter had to clinch.

Parker was not accurate with the right that he bowled back. Another right from Wilder missed, but that backhand was getting closer.

Then Parker fended Wilder off, heaving his own right to the American's chin.

He steered himself through the danger, went the distance and claimed a memorable upset victory on the cards.

"Dangerous fight, a tough fight but we trained very hard for this. People had other plans, but this is God's plan," Parker declared.

"Today we got the win and Merry Christmas to us!

"Deontay's got a new coach and maybe he's applying the new things he's working on, but maybe inactivity played a part."

Deontay Wilder claimed post-fight that he did enough to earn the victory over Parker, a surprising view.

"I did [think he did enough to win] but my timing was off a little bit," he said.

"He [Parker] did a great job in avoiding a lot of my punches. We make no excuses, it was a good fight and we move onto the next thing."

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