Mon, Apr 2, 10:28am by Staff Writer
Anthony Joshua won the WBO world heavyweight title from New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in a tense bout at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday morning.
Joshua has now unified the WBA, IBF and WBO titles in a performance where he was always in control and was awarded the unanimous points win.
The 28-year-old Joshua used his left hand to deliver the crucial blows in the fight, landing a left uppercut in round eight and two left hooks in the 10th round to seal victory.
Parker is the first man to take Joshua to the end of 12 rounds and the scorecards where he was beaten 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109.
Parker was not out of his depth during the fight, showing good movement and more of a defensive style than he has in recent times.
Despite that, Joshua looked rarely troubled and showed composure and excellent positioning against Parker.
Parker did the bulk of his work to the body but wasn’t able to break down his opponent. Joshua committed to the jab which provided decisive and he held a 93-49 advantage throughout the fight.
While the 12-round contest lacked a spark, it did break an indoor record for boxing, eclipsing the attendance at Joshua’s victory over Carlos Takam.
With over 78,000 people in attendance, Joshua was able to unify titles on British soil for the first time in heavyweight division.
In the aftermath of the fight, Joshua remarked that the bout came down to ‘boxing finesse’, with Parker showing great sportsmanship labelling Joshua ‘a better champion’.
There was some criticism of the officiating during the bout with both men prevented from fighting at close quarters, with Parker’s style lending itself more to grappling.
The next challenge for Joshua looks to be the only belt missing from his collection, the WBC belt held by Deontay Wilder.
32-year-old Wilder turned down an invitation to sit ringside on Sunday morning but his phones are sure to be ringing or the next couple of weeks as promoter Eddie Hearn looks to begin negotiations for a Wilder-Joshua battle sooner rather than later.
Sportsbet have already released markets for that bout, with the Brit at $1.57 and Wilder out at $2.31.
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