Joseph Parker versus Hughie Fury didn't stand the test of time. It barely stood at all, even by the modest heavyweight standards of today.

I hope Parker can find another gear or three, that the Aucklander's recent fights are indeed learning experiences on the road to somewhere.

His management doesn't inspire much confidence however, particularly after David Higgins' bizarre performance at a London press conference. Trainer Kevin Barry must be scratching his head, wondering how to take his man forward.

Got to say, unfortunately, that doubts about Parker's potential have now set in, firmly. He has probably been overhyped, in an era where the division's post-Klitschko credibility rests heavily on the moderate ability of British muscleman Anthony Joshua.


The inside word is that Parker's handlers believed this was a perfect match up, that Fury would topple from his great height within six rounds. This was a moment when Joseph Parker, contender, needed to knock his opponent out. He didn't come close, and he wasn't up against much in Manchester.

Hughie Fury is better at trading on his surname than trading punches. He is no Tyson, as in his cousin. (A mate reckons he's seen better punches thrown in a rest home).

As for boxing's most famous even mention what we saw between Parker and Fury in the same breath as heavyweight title contests of old feels somewhat insulting.

Which is the major point. Kiwi patriotism and Britain's new-found status as the home of heavyweight boxing is all that really propped this fight up. Fury - who boxed with a jab and almost no right hand - was able to hang in, to a point that some pundits claimed he won, no matter how laughable that verdict would have been. His best move, by far, was getting the bout moved out of Auckland.

Parker deserved to get the judges' nod, no doubt about it. He tried to make it a fight, while Fury ducked and survived.

After the first few rounds, it looked almost certain that the judges would not be needed. That's when the problems started. Parker went into plateau mode, like his career.

What a snore. For those of us brought up on the great days of heavyweight boxing, it was like watching something on the undercard.

Boxing is a sport where it's legitimate to dip into the history books or find the old film reels, for comparisons. The Manchester heavyweight title tango was an indictment on where a once-great division has got to.

Whereas many sports have outgrown their past - try watching an entire rugby test or league grand final from the 1970s - boxing, or what makes a great boxer, hasn't changed much at all.

Those extraordinary heavyweights who made boxing what it was were men who ruled the world, and changed it.

To pick out one particular batch, the giants of the golden age 40-odd years ago would absolutely crush the likes of Parker and Fury.

Let's get real: the only reason they get to contest an alleged world title at all is because there are four belts up for grabs, and the heavyweight division largely sucks.

And the only reason the commentators don't bag the hell out of what we saw from Manchester is the need to fuel the pay-for-view circus. No wonder MMA has kicked the legs out from under boxing.

The sweet science has turned into a cat and mouse game of protecting an unbeaten record to drive up the numbers. It's the Mayweather Method, and Parker is still in the game.

Joe Parker is a brilliant bloke and hopefully he makes his dreams come true, gets a shot at something significant.

But imagine what a great like Larry Holmes in his prime would have done to Parker and Fury. Imagine, further, and how they would have fared against the almost-forgotten men of the 1970s like Jimmy Young and scary Earnie Shavers, who could have knocked out a brick wall.

That is how boxing deserves to be judged.