By Elliot Foster
Joseph Parker retained his mandatory position in the heavyweight division with another stoppage.
The New Zealander advanced his undefeated ledger to 21-0 with 18 early endings at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau City.
Parker, 24, demolished former European heavyweight champion Alexander Dimitrenko (38-3, 24 KOs) inside three rounds and is now in line for a world title shot.
The first round produced the first of three knockdowns in the fight, in which Parker put on a clinic to retain his WBO Oriental belt.
He now has three options for his next fight, after ending this one with just seven minutes and 38 seconds of ring action having happened.
Parker is now in a privileged position. He will either face Anthony Joshua, the IBF champion, in his mandatory challenge or he could face Liverpudlian David Price, who boxes in Neubrandenburg, Germany on Saturday night, on November 26 at Manchester Arena, as part of the card topped by ‘AJ’ before a potential showdown in 2017.
But there is another option. Parker could fight Andy Ruiz Jr. for the vacant WBO world title, should the governing body decide to strip current titlist Tyson Fury, who was last week declared “medically unfit” to participate in contractually obliged rematch against former Ukrainian kingpin Wladimir Klitschko, which was set for the aforementioned Manchester Arena on October 29, before it was revealed on Friday that the lineal champion had tested positive for cocaine in a random VADA-conducted urine sample collected the day before he withdrew from the rescheduled Klitschko rematch on September 23.
Further details will be revealed in due course.