March 28 saw the professional boxing heavyweight unification bout between English boxer, Anthony Joshua, and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker. Titled “Road to Undisputed”, the unification fight was held at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales and there were four titles on the line between the two boxers.
Prior to landing the unification fight with Joshua, Parker’s team were looking into a bout with Australian boxer, and former MMA fighter and kickboxer, Lucas Browne. However, the team were able to settle the deal with Joshua and fight promoter Eddie Hearn, who manages Anthony Joshua amongst many other famous boxers including our own Katie Taylor.
Both boxers weighed in under their designated weight of heavyweight, with Anthony Joshua also weighing in the lightest since 2014 when he fought Michael Sprott.
As with all great undercards, there were some fine contests in the lead up to Joshua and Parker.
Belfast man Ryan Burnett was involved in one of these cracking fights and boxed cleverly, securing himself a handy points decision over Yonfrez Parejo of Venezuela.
Fellow heavyweights Alexander Povetkin took on fellow English professional boxer and Liverpool native, David Price. An interesting fact to note on the evening was that David Price had previously knocked Anthony Joshua out in a sparring session. However, it seems Anthony Joshua wouldn’t have much to worry about should a proper bout ever arise with Price.
Povetkin and Price was a cracker of a contest. For those looking for the big punch or the knockout in a contest this would have been more your cup of tea than Joshua and Parker.
Both big hitters, anyone that knew the two boxers would have sat on the edge of their seat watching this fight, and the two heavyweights didn’t disappoint as going into the break after the 2nd round, fans were left biting their nails waiting in anticipating, following both boxers dropping each other within the second 3-minute rounder. Following a right hand from Povetkin the Liverpudlian, David Price was knocked out in the fifth round.
Unlike Joshua’s previous 20 fights, he was forced to go the distance with the New Zealander who made high attempts to retain his WBO heavyweight belt, as well as take Joshua’s IBF, WBA & IBO heavyweight belts.
The judges’ scorecards returned at the end of the fight with the fight scored at 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 in favour of Joshua’s fight, with AJ retaining his own three titles, as well as taking the WBO from Joshua Parker on the night.
Overall it was quite a clean fight, however since the referee has since been labelled ‘amateurish’ and is said to have ‘killed the fight’. Italian official, referee Giuseppe Quartarone, has been said to have refereed the fight poorly, and many previous world champions, and fellow boxing professionals branded him poorly as he refused to allow the heavyweights to engage in any in close working.
The fight definitely lacked drama, and a big part of this was assisted from Quartartone whom helped the fight become a cagey chess match throughout the 12 rounds.
For quite some time there has been talks of an Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder fight, which could result in a fifth belt for Joshua if he took the decision. Joshua paid homage to these talks last Saturday, calling the American boxer out on national television, “You’re asking me do I want to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world? IBO. WBO. IBF. WBA.. 6 world championship fights, does that not show you what route I’m going in? Forget the hype, I’m not into that, everyone here knows me better than that.. Wilder! Let’s go baby! Let’s go!”.
Still here? Check this out: DCU Students Continue To Protest Against Accommodation Price Increase