By: Sean Crose
Former world titlist Deontay WIlder returned to the ring on Saturday to take on Joseph Parker, a fellow former world titlist, in a scheduled 12 round affair. The winner of the Saudi hosted throwdown would have a bright future ahead. The loser? Perhaps the sunset of a career. Wilder, 42-2-1 looked far taller than the 33-3 Parker in the opening moments of the fight. For the most part, however, the first round consisted of each man feeling the other out. Parker tried getting in on his man in the second, while Wilder – perhaps the hardest hitter in boxing history – patiently waited for a chance to unload.
The fighters returned to sizing each other up in the third, which led to occasional action coming in bursts. The fourth was more eventful, with Parker throwing hard while coming in. By the fifth it was clear that Wilder wasn’t able to unload on his man. Heading into the halfway part of the bout, the fighter known as “The Bronze Bomber” was likely down on points. Wilder threw with bad intentions in the sixth. He only did it once, but it was worth wondering if he was now looking to turn up the heat on Parker.
Both fighters traded leather in the seventh. Neither man was hurt, but the temperature of the fight was rising. Parker hurt Wilder in the eighth with a powerful right. Jumping on the opportunity, Parker went for broke, banging away at Wilder. The American was able to survive the round, but underdog Parker was proving he could not only win, but perhaps with within the distance. To his credit, Wilder swung his sledgehammer of a shot in the ninth, just not often. In the tenth, it was clear that Wilder, for whatever reason, was simply gun-shy.
Parker tagged Wilder with overhand rights in the eleventh. When Wilder would try to move in, Parker would shell up. Wilder finally returned to his old ways in the twelfth and final round. Parker was ready to meet the challenge, though, and Wilder was not able to be saved by his power. Parker was subsequently given the win by the judges.
A complete and shocking upset.
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