New Zealand boxing heavyweight Joseph Parker has claimed a unanimous points victory over countryman Junior Fa but the boxing world has erupted over crazy scores.
The former WBO titleholder was expected to claim the victory over the undefeated Fa but amid countless clinches and a largely even match, many believed it would head right down to the wire if it went to the cards.
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But it wouldn’t be boxing without an insane scorecard with Parker claiming the victory with a 119-109, 115-113 and 117-111 win.
One of the commentators said “Sorry, 119-109, one of those judges needs a new prescription”.
The Athletic’s boxing insider Mike Coppinger called the 119-109 card “outrageous” adding “seemed like a close fight. Certainly not a memorable one”.
US boxing producer Mark Ortega called it “One of the worst meaningful heavyweight fights I’ve seen in a while but it might just be because it’s 3 AM.”
Before the fight even happened, Parker was eyeing off Derek Chisora and the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce WBO interim title fight believed to be scheduled later this year.
“I’m open to fighting anyone,” Parker told Sky Sports News. “But with the talks from my promoter, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom and with [manager] David Higgins, they’ve got a clear pathway for me this year.
“Take care of Junior, then fighting Chisora, then fighting the winner of Usyk and Joyce.”
Despite only two losses in his boxing career against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, some fans felt Parker didn’t show anywhere near enough to give any of the top fighters an issue.
It was a strange card across the board.
David Nyika, a dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist, won in 28 seconds after his professional cruiserweight debut ended after Jesse Maio, who was 3-0 in his career, ducked into a punch.
It caught him behind the ear but Maio didn’t beat the count through protestations he was punched in the back of the head.
It left a bad taste in the mouths of fans with boos raining down on the winner.
“I really would have liked to have got a few more rounds but this is boxing,” Nyika said. “He ducked under a good shot and caught it behind the ear and I can’t do anything about that. I can’t control where he puts his head – if it’s in an illegal position that’s his bad, that’s his foul.”
Equally strange was Panuve Helu and Nik Charalampous’ draw after Charalampous appeared to be targeting Helu with low blows.
Charalampous was docked a point in the fourth round.
But he continued it didn’t change the strategy with the referee telling him to “get those punches up” and the commentators calling for more penalties or a disqualification.
But the card came back with a 58-56 scorecard each and a 57-57 as boos rang out through the venue.
THE FULL CARD
Joseph Parker defeated Junior Fa via unanimous decision (119-109, 115-113, 117-111)
Hemi Ahio defeated Julius Long via Round 7 KO
David Nyika defeated Jessie Maio via Round 1 TKO
Nik Charalampous drew with Panuve Helu (58-56, 56-58, 57-57)
Jerome Pampellone defeated Anthony Amouta: Round 1 TKO.