Parker Retains; Many Critical of Showing
Joseph Parker retained the WBO heavyweight championship in his home country of New Zealand, defeating Razvan Cojanu via unanimous decision. Many criticized the defending champ’s performance in the fight, however, stating that the work he put in was more mediocre, as well as failure to deliver a knockout blow.
Cojanu took this contest on late notice, in place of Hughie Fury, brother of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Cojanu was completely topped on the punches thrown and landed total; however, he earned the respect of the crowd by absorbing the blows. Cojanu, who earlier this week ranted on Parker and his camp about the fight’s contract after negotiations ended, also taunted the champion and worked the crowd during the bout despite coming out on the short end of the stick.
Parker took the decision 119-108, 117-110, 117-110.
The question now is what’s next for Parker in terms of the heavyweight title picture. Promoter Eddie Hearn has recently mentioned that should Anthony Joshua defeat Wladimir Klitschko (which happened last week), and Parker retain his title, a unification showdown between Joshua and Parker is possible.
But since then, more factors have come into play. There are already talks of a re-match between Joshua and Klitschko thanks to the performance of both men, and Kubrat Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF heavyweight title.
In addition, Joshua seems to have his eye on Tyson Fury, calling Fury out after his big championship win last week. Fury, likewise, called out Joshua on social media.
Combine that with Parker’s widely-criticized performance, and not facing the opponent originally intended for him, what is next in the heavyweight championship scene in boxing is uncertain at the moment.