Sport

Joshua next? Kiwi retains WBO heavyweight title

New Zealand's Joseph Parker celebrates his points victory over Britain's Hughie Fury at Manchester Arena
New Zealand's Joseph Parker celebrates his points victory over Britain's Hughie Fury at Manchester Arena Nick Potts

NEW Zealander Joseph Parker will have his sights set on a showdown with British champion Anthony Josua after he defended his WBO heavyweight world title belt with a tight majority victory over Hughie Fury at the Manchester Arena on Sunday morning (AEST).

It was the Kiwi's second defence of his belt, having won the vacant title over Andy Ruiz Jr. in December last year (majority decision), before defending it against Razvan Cojanu in May (unanimous decision).

He is now 24-0 with 18 knockouts.

The Fury camp, including one-time world champion and Hughie's cousin Tyson, had stormed the ring at the completion of the fight believing their man had won.

New Zealand's Joseph Parker, right, battles Britain's Hughie Fury during the WBO heavyweight title bout
New Zealand's Joseph Parker, right, battles Britain's Hughie Fury during the WBO heavyweight title bout Nick Potts

In a tightly fought bout, Parker won over two judges - who scored the fight 118-110 in his favour while the third judge couldn't split the fighters, scoring it 114-apiece.

"Fury moved well, he was awkward. I caught him with the harder punches, and feel I won the fight fairly.

"It's a great result, but I want to go back to New Zealand and have a bit of a break now.

"I feel that this opens up big fights here, we can come back and set up another big fight.”

Parker will now fancy himself as a contender to Joshua - the IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight champion.


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