The international boxing media has welcomed Joseph Parker onto the global scene with most experts claiming the Kiwi was a fair winner over brave Mexican American fighter Andy Ruiz Junior last night.
Several writers suggested Ruiz was unlucky not to have won the captivating bout for the vacant WBO heavyweight title but most agreed Parker dominated the second half of the fight against a tiring Ruiz and deserved his narrow win.
Sydney Daily Telegraph:
Parker's triumph led the newspaper site as well as popular sports sites Fox Sports and news.com.au with veteran boxing writer Grant lee Keiza lauding the Kiwi.
"'New Zealand thank you,' the humble 24-year-old hero said after surviving some wild exchanges with the flabby but so fast opponent who lost for the first time in his 30-fight pro career stretching back to 2009.
"The 112kg Parker was able to control enough rounds behind his fast and snapping left jab to seal the win even though the 116kg Ruiz kept pressing forward behind sizzling counter punches.
"Joseph Parker has now scored 22 wins in 22 fights and last night was only the fourth time he has been taken the distance."
British boxing expert Tom Gray said Parker was a deserved winner but had to improve further if he was to become the undisputed world champion.
"The bout itself was highly competitive when Ruiz forced the home fighter to trade but, for much of the time, the Mexican-American slugger found himself being picked off by crisp punches at long range.
"Parker was extremely wary whenever the visitor closed the gap. Ruiz, who is rated No. 10 by THE RING, bossed the fight on the inside but he just couldn't get there enough.
"Parker kept him honest with single, double and triple jabs and occasionally brought over a solid right cross.
"By the mid-rounds, Parker had found his rhythm and was becoming more and more efficient with his left hand work. The New Zealander was perhaps guilty of being one-paced but he still managed to keep his distance and Ruiz, despite sporadic success, didn't have the versatility to permanently change the course of the action.
"Ruiz was desperate in the championship rounds and did let his hands go down the stretch but it was too little too late and there were no real complaints about the decision.
"The victor and his vast army of New Zealand fans were understandably elated but Parker still has plenty of improving to do."
Dan Finger wrote on the popular site that he felt the clash was a draw.
"For five rounds it looked like Andy Ruiz was poised to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion. Outworking his opponent and rattling the 24-year old Kiwi in the second round Ruiz seemed to dominate the early rounds and racked up what was bordering on an insurmountable lead on the scorecards.
"Then he inexplicably stopped throwing punches and began to look for the one big shot that would end the fight.
"Parker took advantage of Ruiz's inactivity and seemed to win the middle rounds on activity alone. By round eight the jab of Parker began to give Andy Ruiz real problems as he also found a home for his right hand.
"Going into the eleventh round it appeared that Ruiz needed a knockout to win, and sensing the danger he was in, he fought accordingly. Ruiz won the final two rounds with aggression and counter right hands that had Joseph Parker backing up for much of the final minute of the fight."
Fightnews had the fight scored 114-114.
James Smith, a boxing writer well known to Kiwi fans, felt American referee Tony Weeks involved himself too much in the bout.
"I like Tony Weeks a lot, but he and ALL you refs need to let guys engage on inside.
"Stop just rushing in and breaking fighters when they have a free hand. You're not allowing the brilliance of inside fighting. Your intentions are to keep action going but you this type of stuff would have prevented Frazier from defeating Ali."
Smith told his followers on his site that he felt Ruiz won by a point.
The popular international website felt Ruiz missed his chance by tiring but a draw would have been a fair result.
"Joseph Parker was crowned WBO heavyweight champion after surviving an early scare to edge out fellow challenger Andy Ruiz on points by the thinnest of margins.
"Ruiz rocked Parker in the second round and looked like becoming the first Mexican-American to hold a version of the heavyweight title by taking the first five rounds.
"But for some reason Ruiz's workrate dropped and Parker took full advantage by maintaining his workrate to take the next three or four rounds. The fight was close and Ruiz dug deep to take the last two rounds but according to two judges it was not enough as they awarded Parker the fight.
"A draw seemed a fair result but it was Parker who claimed the vacant title and improves to 22-0-(18). Ruiz drops to 29-1-(19)."
The international website claimed Parker was a fair victor with his superior fitness earning him the belt.
"Parker started the fight slowly but grew into the contest, dominating the closing rounds as his stocky opponent began to tire.
"And his superior fitness and punching power told in the end, making him the first Kiwi to be crowned heavyweight world champion.
"Both fighters promised an open, offensive battle and didn't disappoint, showing plenty of willingness to throw combinations early on.
"But as the fight traversed through its opening rounds, Parker found it difficult to break the Mexican-American's defensive rear-guard with jabs.
"Ruiz, meanwhile, managed to land several solid blows to Parker's head, including a second-round string of connections in the corner, and frequent left hooks to the body.
"The fifth round proved more fortuitous for Parker, hitting Ruiz with a left-hand blow to the face and setting himself up for a dominant sixth-round performance.
"But with half the fight gone, it remained difficult to pick the man with the upper hand.
"As Ruiz began to tire, Parker found new ways of getting under his defence via uppercuts and several right-hand blows to the face.
The final two rounds came and went without Parker landing a knock-out blow, condemning the pair to the mercy of the judges, who chose the Aucklander."