UK critics hammer Joseph Parker's performance

Hughie Fury led a host of critics in pulling apart Joseph Parker's performance in the New Zealand heavyweight's lacklustre defence of his WBO world heavyweight title last night.

Fury described Parker's display against a 'useless opponent' as 'poor' and bragged that he will easily take his title when the two end up meeting. Fury still has mandatory rights to fight Parker next after pulling out of Saturday night's fight in Manukau because of a back injury.

Fury's fill-in Razvan Cojanu, a sparring partner of Parker's, took the champion the distance though the Kiwi won in a controlled, unanimous points decision.

The fight was broadcast live in Britain and his performance created a lot of doubters.

"Parker, to me, didn't look like he knew what to do with Cojanu after a few rounds when he couldn't land his big shots and he wasn't breaking him down," Fury told Boxing Scene.

"He made very hard work of it and against a former sparring partner who you'd think he'd know inside out and be able to take out, but he struggled and looked poor."

"Conjanu was useless and you could see he just wanted to survive in there, he didn't show any ambition to win and was in there to just to make it to the end of the fight."

"My opinion of my chances against Parker hasn't changed after watching that. I said before I'll knock him out and that remains the same, but now I know I'll knock him out and take the WBO world title from him."

The WBO's eighth-ranked fighter, Dillian Whyte, was part of Sky Sports' coverage in the UK, and he made it clear what he thinks of Parker.


"If I fight Joseph Parker I believe I will knock him out and become the WBO champion," said Whyte.

"I say that from my heart and from deep in my soul. I honestly believe that. I will knock Joseph Parker out and become WBO champion. I don't see anything there that worries me at all. Nothing.

"Joseph Parker is a big fish in a small pond. He has said he wants to come to the UK and make a name for himself so I think I'm the perfect fight for him."

Parker's fight generated plenty of interest in the UK, where he is seen as a potential challenger to 27-year-old Anthony Joshua who holds the IBF, WBA and IBO belts.

The Daily Mirror called the fight 'lacklustre' and ran an unscientific poll where two thirds of respondents voted that Parker did not deserve a shot at Joshua.

The headline at The Telegraph said Parker "failed to impress," and the article said "the New Zealander did not look particularly explosive in winning on all three cards and his performance is unlikely to rattle Joshua too much".

The BBC was also doubtful about the 'splash' Parker could make in the UK.

"Though he remains unbeaten in 23 fights, the manner of this win may make Parker a tougher sell for pay-per-view audiences overseas.

"The 25-year-old - who claimed the vacant WBO belt against Andy Ruiz in December - did land some shots when in close to Cojanu but when at distance he looked incapable of finding ways to rock a man three inches taller and around two stone heavier."

- NZ Herald

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