Zach Parker annihilated Sherzod Khusanov in 167 seconds, knocking him with a left hook to the body at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Parker, the WBO’s No 1 super middleweight contender, was confident of a quick night, but looked surprised by how quick it was. The 41-year-old Uzbek had expected to be a tough opponent, but there seemed little resistance left in him as Parker recorded a second quickfire win since signing with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
Khusanov came forward towards Parker early on, but was met by a couple of good straight lefts. But it was a left to the body that folded Khusanov, the Uzbek going down n his haunches and not moving as referee Bob Williams counted him out at 2:47 of the first round.
A fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez remains a distant prospect for now, but fights with the likes of John Ryder, Rocky Fielding or Chris Eubank Jr might be possible later this year.
Karol Itauma, who was born in Slovakia but won a Youth Olympics gold medal for Great Britain in 2018, bashed his way through Tim Ventrella in two rounds to record his third win as a professional.
The 20-year-old southpaw, who lives in Kent, carries plenty of power and wasted very few punches in getting to Vintrella.
A well-timed short right hook rocked Vintrella in the first and when he got his opponent going in the second round, Itauma finished the job in style, trapping Vintrella on the ropes and opening up with both hands, landing with a series of left hooks to send Ventrella to the floor. He beat the count at eight, but referee Lee Every waved it off at 2:30 of the round.
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.