By: Eric Lunger
Hughie Fury fought the fight he wanted: on the back foot, using deceptive movement and foot work, and counter-punching Joseph Parker as the Kiwi WBO world champion came forward. But the counter-punching part was not really there. To my mind, Fury landed exactly one solid counter, in the fourth round, a pretty uppercut perfectly timed, as Parker came forward. But Parker walked right through it. And he continued to come forward every round.
In fact, like a boxing groundhog day, every round went the same. A few flicking jabs from Fury, Parker double jabbing to the body and then following with an assault to the head with his overhand right. Fury used his height advantage to lean way back in the ropes and lessen the assault. But the fact is, if you are the challenger you must do more than defend and run. Parker missed a lot, but he landed jabs and overhand rights – several of which you could hear on the broadcast! And he remains the champion. Rightly so.
Parker has been criticized for fighting exclusively in New Zealand against lesser opposition. He stepped into the lion’s den tonight in Manchester against a very good, very well-trained heavyweight, and he won with an aggressive game plan, a revival of his double jab (especially to the body), and by being supremely conditioned. Is Joseph Parker ready for the likes of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder? Time will tell, but Parker certainly silenced critics tonight.