Joseph Parker has confirmed he will box on after his second successive professional loss, saying he wants to fight for another five years despite the battering he received at the hands of Dillian Whyte in London recently.
Parker made the announcement in front of a big media contingent in Auckland yesterday. He and his promoter David Higgins also said they would not appeal the unanimous decision defeat to Whyte at the O2 Arena despite the illegal headbutt in the second round which changed the course of the fight.
Parker said today he felt like he was in a dream and punching in slow motion immediately after. He didn't look himself in the middle rounds and was floored by a left hook from Whyte in the ninth before coming back and sending the Englishman to the canvas in the 12th in a dramatic last-ditch effort to win.
Had referee Ian John Lewis ruled the headbutt as such, Parker probably would have won the round, making the result a draw. But Higgins said Parker and his team had thought about it and had decided not to seek redress.
"We considered appealing and under WBO rules we definitely have grounds to appeal… serious errors were made which changed the course of the fight. That being said, we've taken stock and decided we'll take the high ground. We won't appeal, we'll just get on with the job. But we're pleased we made some noise about it because frankly it was a disgrace."
Parker said of the blow from Whyte's head: "It felt like I was in a dream – dazed. Yesterday we had an MRI and we're just waiting on the results."
The Kiwi heavyweight, a former WBO world champion and still only 26, confirmed he wanted to fight again and preferably as soon as November or December. He said he would be happy to fight anyone.
Higgins said: "We have unfinished business – the goal remains the same to unify the heavyweight division. Right now we're considering various options. We're getting calls from match-makers around the world and there are fight options in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States.
"Our brand hasn't been dented in the UK. It took tremendous courage to go through that headbutt and nearly come back and get the win. Much respect to Dillian Whyte – a very tough character. We've had some bad luck, we all know that."