Although Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker boasted a combined 38 knockouts in their 44-0 record, their four-belt unification bout was a war of nerves fought at long range.
Joshua exploited his six-inch reach advantage by out-jabbing the retreating Parker 93-49 despite throwing 46 fewer jabs. The jab comprised 70.5% of Joshua's total output and 66.9% of his total connects while it made up 64.2% of Parker's output and 48.5% of his total connects.
Joshua also landed more body shots than Parker, a body-shot specialist, as he led 46-40 in that department, including 29-11 in body jabs. Scoring: 118-110 (twice), 119-109, probably due to his superior ring generalship and his ability to keep Parker on the back foot. Joshua landed an avg. of 12 of 32 per round (hvt. avg.: 15/45) after going 15 of 44 in his previous 6 fights.
Joseph Parker has surrendered his WBO heavyweight world title following a 12-round fight with unbeaten Brit Anthony Joshua at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.
The 26-year-old Aucklander became the first man to stretch Joshua, who moves to 21-0, the full 12 rounds but was defeated by unanimous decision on Saturday.
The Watford-born 28-year-old now holds the IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA belts. Two of the three judges scored it 118-110 in Joshua's favour with the third giving it to the London Olympic champion 119-109.
There were few clean punches in a tense opening stanza as both boxers felt each other out, an energetic Parker however unable to stop Joshua dominating the middle of the ring.
A cut above Parker's left eye was evident from the third round on as he was again forced to expend energy trying to move a steadfast Joshua around.
A crowd of almost 80,000 was on hand at Wales' national stadium with American legend Sugar Ray Leonard and former Chelsea and Netherlands striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink among those ringside.