British-Nigerian world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defeated New Zealand’s Joseph Parker via a unanimous decision in their unification bout on Saturday night in Cardiff.
The win means Joshua stretches his unbeaten streak to 21 while it was a first defeat for Parker after 25 professional fights.
The final score card had Joshua winning 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 after a gruelling contest.
It was the first time Joshua will emerge victorious via unanimous decision as his previous 20 fights were won via knockouts.
He has now added Parker’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) to his International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organisation titles.
The first two rounds were close as both boxers were evenly matched and went about sizing up each other.
The British fighter, buoyed by the support of 80,000 fans in his third consecutive stadium fight (it was Parker’s first), stalked his man methodically, wary of a countering right that has kept the New Zealander unbeaten. He is heavy-handed and busy rather than devastating, but Joshua was taking no risks. Joshua started imposing himself from the third round with some good jabs which kept Parker under pressure.
In the sixth round, Parker landed a superb uppercut which rocked Joshua but the champion recovered well and returned to using his jabs, ending round eight with good body shots.
The 10th round saw Parker struggle to keep Joshua at bay due to bleeding from his left eye following a cut in the earlier rounds.
And in round 12, the final round, Joshua kept Parker at range as the New Zealander went in search of a knockout which never materialised. diaspora reporters