By Elliot Foster
Dillian Whyte put himself back into world title contention with a big win.
The Brixton heavyweight retained his WBC Silver title at the O2 Arena in London.
Whyte, however, was out on his feet in the latter stages of the contest against former WBO world champion Joseph Parker, who was dropped twice during the contest, and will now be looking to find a world title shot.
After the win, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday, Whyte will be hoping that a fight against Anthony Joshua -- a rematch of their 2015 showdown at the same venue -- could be made, should WBC champion Deontay Wilder not sign the contract.
Joshua has Wembley Stadium booked for April 13, 2019, with the fight against an opponent to be confirmed to be screened exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
And Whyte, after a 113-112, 115-110 and 114-111 unanimous victory despite being down in the final stanza, will be hoping his name is the one called for the fight in the first third of next year.
Whyte also claimed the vacant WBO International heavyweight title against the former world champion, who lost to Anthony Joshua back in March, and he called out the WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO champion.
“I’ll be ready for April if Wilder doesn’t take it. I’m still inexperienced and could do with another fight in between,” Whyte said afterwards. “But I’ll speak with Eddie Hearn and see what he can throw my way.”
Also on the O2 card, Joshua Buatsi picked up his first professional title with a sensational stoppage.
The Team GB bronze medallist, who turned pro after picking up a medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, iced Andrejs Pokumeiko to claim the vacant WBA International light-heavyweight title.
The end came at one minute and 56 seconds, with referee Victor Loughlin feeling that the visitor was in no position to continue.
"It was less than a round, there's hardly anything I can take from it,” he said afterwards.
Buatsi was originally meant to fight Ricky Summers for the vacant WBC International title on the Whyte-Parker card before ‘Digger’ was injured.
But the 25-year-old has welcomed a fight against Summers in the future.
"Absolutely [I'll fight Ricky Summers] in the future, if we can get it on,” he added. “It was his birthday yesterday, so happy birthday!"