- Publish Date
- Sunday, 22 May 2016, 9:15AM
He did it the hard way tonight, did Joseph Parker.
After 12 rounds and the toughest test of his career, the New Zealand heavyweight has a guaranteed world title shot after a unanimous points decision over Carlos Takam.
At the end of it all in Manukau, with referee Wes Melton holding aloft his hand, Parker allowed himself a smile and hugged his trainer Kevin Barry. He's now set for a multi-million dollar payday when he fights for the IBF title currently held by Englishman Anthony Joshua. He deserves it, for he had to work extremely hard for it.
Among the interested viewers was WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who tweeted his congratulations minutes after the fight ended: "Welcome to big time boxing, respect to a young lad taking on a very tough guy in Takam.
Very well done!"
A fight which began cagily - as it should with so much at stake - caught fire in the fifth round, with 24-year-old Parker wobbled and in trouble. Takam, the 35-year-old with a granite chin and relentless attitude, hurt the home town favourite and had him in a corner ready to land the knockout blow.
Parker slipped away, and in his haste to finish it, Takam leapt in with a wild swing and slipped, giving Parker time to compose himself. As it turned out, that was the last big chance he would get, for Parker punished Takam in the eighth, a spectacular round in which he almost punched himself out. He must have thrown 20 punches. Takam was wobbled, but stayed on his feet and even finished the round by throwing shots himself.
"I felt like I had him in the eighth. I hit him with a lot of shots to the head," Parker said.
Read the full story at NZ Herald
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