The heated encounter that was expected, panned out, but what wasn’t expected by some was how close the scoring portion of it would be, or that it would even go the distance. At the end of 12, it was 🇦🇺Joseph Parker (29-2-0, 21KO) who got his hand raised, over a disappointed, dejected 🇿🇼🇬🇧Dereck “War” Chisora (32-11-0, 23KO) who believes that he won the fight, and shared his frustration , believing he is in a constant circle of getting shorted in close contests.
The first round produced an immediate eyebrow-raising moment, with Joseph Parker being knocked down in the opening 7 seconds of the bout, and it was scored as such with a shot that strayed very close to being a rabbit punch, but landed in the last spot where it could be considered a legal punch (right behind the ear), so some early momentum was formed by the big man Chisora.
Per what he usually does, Chisora barreled his way forward trying to inflict the pain, but left himself open enough in spots for Joseph to find his footing, and shoot the power up the chute to get himself acclimated into the bout.
The fight was rough, and rugged – the fight you would expect from two big physical Heavyweights, looking to establish their dominance over the other. There were plenty moments of see-saw action, with Chisora routinely getting in his clubbing right hand, and left hook, while Parker did a solid job early with the all-around use of his lead left hand.
Parker’s power came into play in the second half of the fight, starting with him hurting Chisora in the final seconds of the 7th round with a strong right cross. By this time in the fight, Chisora was extremely fatigued, to the point where it sounded like he had been fighting with a Darth Vader helmet on the entire fight when sitting in the corner, gasping heavily as he looked on, and listened to the instructions given by new Head-Trainer Buddy McGirt.
The following round was a barnburner, as they traded violently down the stretch to culminate the eighth round. Parker at some point in the fight realized that the stiff jab, and pivoting off of it was the most effective way to keep Chisora at bay, and he stuck with that tactic. The tenth round, Parker landed strong, sharp, accurate 1, 2’s off of Chisora’s chin, as the big man was heavily laboring around, sitting as a stationary target while coming forward.
Parker rocked Chisora big time right a right hand in the 12th, and had him vulnerable on the ropes, but for some reason, didn’t follow up, and Chisora regrouped to storm back, mustering up what he could for return fire, somehow outworking Parker till the 12th, and final bell, despite the exhaustion exhibited over a large portion of the bout.
The bout was close, and Ring-Announcer David Diamante read the cards aloud. It read out as a Split-Decision verdict, and with scores of 115-113 Chisora, 116-111 Parker and 115-113 Parker…the Australian Heavyweight escaped with the narrow victory, and Chisora expressed his displeasure. Dereck has a beef, in that every close feeling bout he’s been in during his career, that he appears to be shorted on the cards, which took away a few fights that would have been the pinnacle win on his career resume. There’s so many examples, it’s tough to argue.
During the post-fight interviews, both Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora once again came to a handshake gentleman’s agreement about running it back for a rematch. A man that is a man of his word has built-in credit, and that’s something that they both have, so of course while we’d have to wait till they get contracts drafted, and a rematch has been announced, I’d say safely that the rematch is one that should be expected to come next for both.