Former WBO Heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker scored a convincing, yet hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision over longtime contender Dereck Chisora on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. A rematch of a closely fought battle earlier this year at the same venue held behind closed doors due to COVID-19 protocols, this time Parker did not willingly engage on the inside and made Chisora work for every opportunity to get on the inside. In the process, Parker was administering a beating on the former world title challenger. Parker was credited with a knockdown in round four when a right uppercut to the head of Chisora staggered him into the ropes and it was ruled by Referee Howard Foster that the ropes prevented him from going down to the canvas. Chisora responded by getting up and walking over to a corner and waited for Parker to come forward in an attempt to bait him into walking into a punch he would not see coming. Despite the veteran tactics, the punishment continued, even though when it appeared that Chisora was on the verge of being stopped he would respond by firing hard punches that kept him in the fight.
In round seven, Parker would score a second knockdown of Chisora, this time sending him down on his knees on the canvas. As was the case in round four, Chisora walked over to a corner and positioned himself in a way to challenge Parker to come forward. Chisora was able to land hard shots that kept him competitive in the fight, but was knocked down for a third time in round eight. After the third knockdown, it appeared that Chisora had nothing left to give and the fight would be justifiably stopped, but as had been the case throughout the fight, when he was knocked down, he would again walk to a corner and wait for Parker to follow. What gradually became a grueling battle as the fight progressed, eventually, Chisora suffering the effects of both punishment that was dished out by Parker as well as fatigue appeared to struggle to stay on his feet. In what can only be described as a veteran fighter refusing to be stopped, Chisora, as he has done his entire career showed his mettle and made it to the final bell still throwing punches with knockout intention when the bell to end the bout rang. The three knockdowns over the course of the fight as well as Parker’s more effective punches throughout made the decision a logical conclusion in what was still an entertaining bout from start to finish. Official scores were: 115-110, 114-112, 115-111 for Joseph Parker. Joseph Parker advances to 30-2, with 21 Knockouts. Dereck Chisora falls to 32-12, with 22 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
In a battle for the vacant European Super-Middleweight championship, undefeated Kevin Sadjo scored a sixth round knockout over heavily favored Jack Cullen. Sadjo, who took the fight on short notice had to deal with the taller and longer Cullen, but was able to get on the inside and landed several right hands to the head throughout. Although Cullen was cut over the left eye in round two as a result of an accidental clash of heads and seemed as though he was landing the more effective shots throughout, Sadjo found increasing success as the fight progressed. The end of the fight came suddenly when Sadjo landed a perfectly placed left hook to the body that crumbled Cullen to the canvas in pain. Cullen was able to get up at the count of nine, but was in no condition to continue resulting in the fight being stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 1:11 of round six. Kevin Sadjo advances to 17-0, with 15 Knockouts. Jack Cullen falls to 20-3-1, with 5 Knockouts.
Jr. Lightweight contender Zelfa Barrett scored a twelve round unanimous decision over fellow contender Bruno Tarimo. In what was a final elimination bout in the IBF Jr. Lightweight ratings, Tarimo tried to apply consistent pressure on the taller Barrett from the opening bell. This approach had some success, however Barrett was able to catch Tarimo with a short left hook to the head in round three that knocked him down. As the fight progressed Barrett was able to gain more distance between himself and Tarimo and with that separation was able to open his offense more in landing right hands, uppercuts, and mixing in combinations on his way to the unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 117-110 (On two scorecards), and 116-111 for Barrett. Zelfa Barrett advances to 27-1, with 16 Knockouts. Bruno Tarimo falls to 26-3-2, with 5 Knockouts.
In a battle for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super-Middleweight world championship undefeated former European Super-Middleweight champion Lerrone Richards scored a twelve round split decision over previously unbeaten world champion Carlos Gongora. An extremely tactical fight from the outset, Richards used lateral movement to evade, counter punch, and outwork the champion over the course of the fight. Gongora had his best moments of the fight when he was able to get in close and land hooks on Richards, but ultimately, his spurts of success with his offense were not enough for him to retain his world championship in what was a very difficult fight to gage who had the upper hand due to the pace and the tactics in which the fight was fought. Official scores were: 15-113 for Richards, 116-112, for Gongora, and 115-113 for Richards giving the challenger his first world championship. Lerrone Richards advances to 16-0, with 3 Knockouts. Carlos Gongora falls to 20-1, with 15 Knockouts.
Undefeated Heavyweight Alen Babic scored a sixth round knockout over a “Game” David Spilmont. A brawl from the outset, Babic nearly put Spilmont down in a neutral corner in the first round, but Spilmont was able to withstand the storm. Despite the constant pressure and power punches of Babic, Spilmont began to find holes in Babic’s offense in being able to counter his wide punches. It was a counter left hook to the jaw that caught and badly hurt Babic in the closing seconds of the third round. Babic was able to recover and a combination of hooks along the ropes put Spilmont down in the fourth round. In round five Spilmont was able to land the harder shots of the two, but in round six, Babic put him down for a second time with a hook to the head. This time, Spilmont was unable to get up and was counted out. Official time of the stoppage was :53 of round six. Alan Babic advances to 10-0, with 10 Knockouts. David Spilmont falls to 11-8-1, with 7 Knockouts.
2020 Olympic Heavyweight Bronze medalist David Nyika, now competing as a Cruiserweight, scored a first round stoppage of Anthony Carpin to earn the second victory of his professional career. Nyika immediately put Carpin on the defensive and landed several right hands behind a consistent jab throughout the round including stunning Carpin with a right hand to the head at the midway point of round one. Carpin was able to get out of the round, but the bout was stopped by his corner due to an apparent injury to Carpin’s left elbow. David Nyika advances to 2-0 with 2 Knockouts. Anthony Carpin falls to 5-7-2, with 2 Knockouts.
Unbeaten Women’s Jr. Welterweight Sandy Ryan scored a third round stoppage of a very “Game” Maria Capriolo. From the opening bell, Ryan used her height and reach to keep Capriolo on the defensive. In round three a left hook the seemed to land on the top of the head briefly knocked Capriolo off balance and caused her glove to touch the canvas. Ryan followed this up with a barrage of mostly unanswered punches that ultimately forced a stoppage of the bout. Official time of the stoppage was 1:11 of round three. Sandy Ryan advances to 3-0 with 2 Knockouts. Maria Capriolo falls to 7-14-4, with 0 Knockouts.
A battle of unbeaten Cruiserweights saw Jordan Thompson needing only fifty-three seconds to score a first round knockout of Piotr Budziszewski. Thompson dropped Budziszewski quickly with a jab early in the round and sent him down for a second and final time with a flush uppercut. The fight was immediately stopped. Jordan Thompson advances to 12-0, with 10 Knockouts. Piotr Budziszewski falls to 4-1, with 2 Knockouts.
In Women’s Lightweight rematch that began the evening, Rhiannon Dixon scored her second victory over Vaida Masiokaite in scoring a six round decision victory. A rematch of Dixon’s pro debut in 2020, which she won a four round decision, this time, Dixon was able to outwork Masiokaite over six rounds to earn the decision win. Referee John Latham scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Dixon. Rhiannon Dixon advances to 4-0, with 0 Knockouts. Vaida Masiokaite falls to 2-14-4, with 1 Knockout.
A Welterweight bout between Cyrus Pattinson and Evgenii Vazem that was scheduled for this card was cancelled the day before the card due to Vazem testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. As of this writing, there is no word as to whether there will be an attempt to reschedule the bout for 2022.
The rematch between Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora was eagerly anticipated following their first encounter in May of this year. Although like the first encounter there was no shortage of entertainment value in the rematch, a clear winning did emerge this time around. While Joseph Parker will likely spend 2022 trying to secure another opportunity to win a world championship in the Heavyweight division, the obvious question that needs to be asked is whether this loss for Dereck Chisora will be the final bout of a fourteen year career that has seen him win British, Commonwealth, and European Heavyweight championships as well as spend much of his career at or near the top of the division in terms of contenders vying for a shot at the World Heavyweight championship.
While Chisora has made news at times for the wrong reasons including slapping then WBC Heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko prior to challenging him for the crown in February 2012, he has always given his best every time he has entered the ring and the heart he has displayed throughout his career is something that has endeared him to Boxing fans around the world. At thirty-seven years of age after forty-four bouts and more than a few grueling battles, this observer believes it might be time for Chisora to consider retirement. Ultimately, the decision to retire will be the fighter’s decision to make and only Chisora alone should make that decision, but the heart he has shown may eventually lead to a tragic circumstance if he does continue fighting after taking punishment not just in this latest loss to Joseph Parker, but throughout his career. It is my hope that Chisora will take time to recover and then make the best decision for himself going forward.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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