Joseph Parker is vowing to come back stronger and harder after his 12-round defeat by Anthony Joshua.
It was so close his promoter David Higgins has said there's enough for a rematch with Parker proving he can go the distance.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn quickly poured cold water on the suggestion of a rematch any time soon, stating it was "definitely" off the table for now.
"He wasn't good enough tonight, but he'll come again," Hearn said.
For his Kiwi fans, some had their own battle to contend with before the fight even kicked off - church or boxing.
Many opted to do both while others delayed mass. In Mangere, an official at the Catholic Community Chaplaincy said he had heard some Samoan churches were delaying mass this morning to give worshippers time to watch the fight.
Cars were overflowing from the Mangere Cosmopolitan Club.
Boxing fan Mark Lyrik was there at 8am.
While his heart was rooting for Parker, he wasn't surprised Joshua won.
"I'd go for Parker obviously because he's from here but in my brain it was Joshua who was going to win."
He thought most fans would feel the same.
"We knew it was going to be a tough fight."
As for Parker, who was sporting stitches in his swollen left eye afterwards, he and his team were gracious in defeat.
"Today I got beaten by a better champion, a better man," Parker said after the fight.
"It's disappointing but we'll be back. Just gotta take it on the chin."
He and his team were down but not out. He said he plans to bounce back by setting up another fight and "coming back stronger".
Although he wasn't a popular choice amongst punters - Joshua was the clear favourite at the TAB - he's now gained the respect of the boxing world after becoming the first fighter to take Joshua the whole way.
However, the referee has taken just as much of a battering with fans around the world slamming him for his continual interference, with Parker unable to get too close.
But Joshua took advantage of his reach, using his jab to keep Parker at bay and get the eventual points to take the fight out.
Promoter David Higgins said Parker was philosophical with the loss and said there was enough in it for there to be a re-match, with a different referee.
"I don't know what it would take to put Joseph down – he's still never been dropped."
Asked what Parker's plans were now, Higgins said it was up to him.
"He was very philosophical ... there's not a funeral, in fact the fans will probably demand a rematch. I think we learned that Joshua is a good boxer and can go the distance."
Joshua also praised his young opponent.
"Joseph won't give up now, he's still young. I think we'll definitely see Joseph Parker again."
Kiwi stars, including Sonny Bill Williams and Che Fu, shared their support for the Kiwi champ on social media.
Boxing great Lennox Lewis was running a commentary after each round on his twitter page. Afterwards he said it "wasn't the scrap" he'd hoped for but Joshua fought well and smart.
"Kept JP at end of jab. Ref seemed too hurried to break them up at times," he wrote.
He was tweeting so much he even began trending on twitter in New Zealand, something he was pretty chuffed about, saying "Big up NZ!".
Joshua's likely next opponent, Deontay Wilder, was also vocal praising Parker and stating he was ready to take Joshua on next.
"What a robbery... WOW‼️ @joeboxerparker great job Bro omg don't apologize you did nothing wrong. True champion," he wrote on Twitter.