Joseph Parker repeated his victory over Derek Chisora, but there was no controversy this time, instead all there could be was admiration for Chisora’s remarkable resistance as he withstood a battering from Parker for nearly the entire 12 rounds in Manchester.
There was never any quit in Chisora. One can only hope now, he decides to hang up his gloves, after taking sustained punishment from the former WBO heavyweight champion.
Chisora was down three times, but never gave up, never stopped throwing punches. It was a fight straight out of a Rocky movie. And as hard and as often as Parker hit him, he couldn’t break Chisora’s heart, who was hurt in the second round and never really recovered.
Giustino Di Giovanni scored it 115-110, Ingo Barrabas had it 115-111 and Michael Alexander had it 114-112, scores which did not really reflect Parker’s dominance. It was the New Zealander who landed the cleaner harder shots and while he punched himself to near exhaustion, Chisora showed remarkable heart to keep going until the end.
“He was one tough guy,” Parker said. “He is a credit to the sport of boxing.
“I felt it was a continuation from the first fight, he never stopped coming until the end and we practiced and practiced the jab and uppercut.
“I felt a lot stronger than the first fight. It was important to start strong and not be negative. I followed the fight plan as well as I could, there are a lot of improvements to be made.”
Parker believes he should have stopped Chisora when he had him hurt
“I just rushed it, I didn’t sit down on my punches properly and time them and I got too excited,” he said. “There is a lot of practice to be done after this for the next fight.”
When they met at the same venue in May, without fans, Chisora dropped Parker early in the first round before losing a split points decision, as the New Zealander dominated the second half of the fight.
Chisora protested the decision and even Parker and his trainer, Andy Lee, seemed to be surprised at the verdict.
There was no early success for Chisora this time as Parker went on the front foot and dominated the opening round. Twice he landed well with a right hand, left hook combination and then he landed a bog overhand right as he didn’t let Chisora close.
Chisora came out faster in the second round, rushing Parker and landing a good right, but as Chisora forced Parker back not the ropes, Parker landed a big right and then a left hook. The two uppercuts landed and two rights from range, as Parker seemed intent on blasting Chisora out of the fight.
Just before the bell, Parker landed another two big rights as Chisora seemed hurt.
“Don’t get in a fight with this guy, you’re breaking him down,” Lee said to Parker at the end of the round, but the third was even better.
Parker backed Chisora up onto the ropes and landed a crushing right and a left hook. Chisora looked ready to go and, after missing with a wild ‘Hail Mary’ punch, he tottered back to the ropes, barely able to stand, but Parker looked tired too and couldn’t press on as Chisora landed to the body and forced Parker back into the ropes.
Then in the fourth round, Parker landed a right uppercut and left hook to send Chisora tottering back into the ropes, with referee Howard Foster counting it as a knockdown.
After being allowed to box on, Chisora went back straight into Parker’s corner and lay in wait, Parker tried to find a finishing shot, but Chisora came exploding out and while nothing landed cleanly, he ruffled Parker.
Parker was quieter in the fifth, but he hit Chisora with some brutal punches, particularly the right uppercut, but Chisora wore them all and kept coming forward throwing.
The sixth was a good round for Chisora, as he stayed on Parker and landed two decent rights near the end of the round, although it was Parker still landing the more eye-catching punches.
Chisora began the seventh well, catching Parker with some powerful left jabs, but Parker fired back, landing a big right uppercut that dropped Chisora to his knees for a second knockdown. Once again Chisora tried to sucker Parker into the corner and came out flying, this time he seemed to rock Parker as he summoned up energy from somewhere that seemed to drain all of Parker’s.
Chisora was down again in the eighth round, after an uppercut, but he was back on his feet, and there was no quit in him.
It began to look brutal in the ninth, as Chisora was struggling to move. Parker unloaded on Chisora in a corner, almost prompting referee Howard Foster to step in, but Chisora came flying out again, enough to keep the fight going. The tenth was more of the same, but Parker looked as exhausted as Chisora.
The eleventh round was fought in slow motion. Chisora still rumbled forward, landing and pushing Parker backwards, although Parker landed his uppercut again as Chisora soaked the punches up. There was one last effort from both in the last, but Chisora had nothing left and, as Parker pinged him again with the right hand, but Chisora did not stop throwing punches.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.