O2 Arena, London - Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) was able to withstand a huge scare in the final round to win a twelve round unanimous decision over former WBO heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs). The scores were 113-112, 115-110 and 114-111.
In his last fight back in March, Parker became the first man to take IBF, IBO, WBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua the full distance. Parker lost a twelve round unanimous decision and his WBO title.
Whyte was in action back in March as well, when he secured a brutal sixth round knockout of previously undefeated and former WBA champion Lucas Browne.
Parker started faster than usual in the first round, throwing a sharp jab. Whyte was mostly landing to the body, with Parker using his jab and landing to the head.
Parker was jabbing and moving in the second, making Whyte miss his counters. Parker was working Whyte over and then a counter shot sent Parker down for the first time in his career at the end of the round. A replay showed a clash of heads sending Parker down, but the referee didn't see it.
A close third as Whyte applied more pressure. Whyte was being very aggressive and making it a very physical fight in the fourth. They were trading some solid punches during the round. Parker was landing the better variety of shots from a distance.
Whyte was swinging very widely in the fifth. Whyte was applying the pressure and making Parker back up. Parker was boxing, but not landing much of substance in the second half of the round.
The sixth round had Whyte coming forward with more of his rough tactics and digging to the body. Parker was backing up and not able to do much. He appeared to be tired as Whyte was trying to maul him. Parker was boxing and landing in the seventh. He was circling and using his jab on Whyte. Whyte was pressing forward and making things close. But in the final minute it appeared that Parker buzzed Whyte and was working him over with a few shots to close.
A battle of jabs at the start of the eight. The pace slowed down a bit. Both boxers looked tired, but Whyte was doing more work and landing more shots.
During the ninth, a huge left hook sent Parker down. Parker got up, looked frustrated and was circling around on the back-foot and looking to play it safe as Whyte was looking to do more damage.
Parker was trying his best to change the tide in the tenth. Whyte was blocking many punches and pressing forward with a jab and landing the harder punches. Parker started well in the first minute of the eleventh. Whyte's harder punches were eventually doing more damage as the round pressed forward, but it was Parker who rocked Whyte with some heavy blows - as for the first time Whyte appeared to be in trouble.
Whyte was once again hurt in twelfth and this time he was rocked bad. Parker was trying to finish him off, but Whtye refused to go down and was fighting back. In the final minute Parker had Whyte badly hurt again and sent him down from a temple shot. He nearly finished Whyte off. But Parker couldn't do it, as Whyte held on for dear life until the final bell.