Deontay Wilder humbled by Joseph Parker in the Middle East
Joseph Parker (34-3, 23KO) pulled of the biggest upset on the bumper boxing card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last night when he outboxed and almost knocked out Deontay Wilder (43-3-1, 42KO).
Wilder was on the backfoot for the entire fight while the underdog Parker was aggressive, trying to land his big overhand right at every opportunity, often outjabbing the American despite a deficit in reach and height. Almost everyone tipped Wilder to win by KO, having knocked out or dropped every single opponent he has ever faced in the ring, but it was an entirely different outcome.
BBN asked their panel of experts for their reactions to the fight:
Luke CampbellWorld title contender
"Not taking nothing away from Parker’s win, but Wilder looking like he’s only been boxing six months. It was a strange performance. But if he decides to call it a day now, he’s done unbelievable for himself, and his family.
"Massive Congratulations to Parker thoughm he’s back in the top mix."
Matt MarshFormer British champion
"I thought Parker boxed a good fight, he didn't overcommit, he never switched off, as we all know what Wilder can do with just one punch.
"I think Wilder didn’t look great whatsoever and maybe it’s time for him to retire."
Oskari Metz European title contender
"Wow, was I wrong! Parker was simply the better fighter.
"12 rounds is a long time, so I thought Wilder would surely land something big, but Parker remained sharp and showed solid defense (and a great chin) on top of putting the pressure on the big puncher while having a significant reach disadvantage. Brilliant!
"Joshua vs. Parker rematch, anyone?"
Tim RicksonBBN Editor
"Wilder was not himself last night, that was plain to see. Inactivity, age, knockouts to Tyson Fury, all the soul searching he has been doing… it seems like he has lost his killer instinct and desire to win. He was smiling after the loss and saying that he's happy, but that's not the Wilder we used to know, so something has changed.
"He was passive, jittery, unwilling to engage, circling the outside of the ring, no destruction or aggression, it just wasn't Wilder. I also think his corner did a terrible job for not urging him to take action earlier. Why did he fight the way he did in the 12th round only and not from the first bell? What were the tactics? It was bizarre. I think he's lost his feeling of invincibility, he's financially secure with business investments away from boxing, he's found a new way of life that has completely chilled him out, and his heart isn't in it anymore. He's gone from saying he wants a body on his record to smiling and cheering a loss.
"But with that out the way, I want to praise Joseph Parker for his incredible performance, and Andy Lee for getting the tactics spot on and keeping his heavyweight disciplined and on course all through the fight. That was a shared victory. He came so close to stopping Wilder during that eighth round. My only criticism is that he fell over his front foot a lot. If he had been able to maintain his balance and distance, he could have got some of his shots off a bit better to secure that stoppage. His defence was exceptional, so reactive to that right hand equalizer, which I don't think landed once, able to duck and roll under or block fully with a tight, strong guard.
"What a year for Parker – four fights, four wins! He is looking better than ever, a better fighter than when he was a world champion, and he has got so many options available to him next year."
Ace AdamUnbeaten super-middleweight
"I'd like to extend a huge thank you to all the boxers who showcased their incredible skills yesterday. They put their lives on the line for our entertainment, especially right before Christmas, which was truly remarkable. Their performances set a high standard for boxing excellence and excitement from the very beginning to the end.
"Despite facing numerous mental challenges, Wilder couldn't display his true abilities in the ring. Parker stuck firmly to his game plan, securing a well-deserved victory."
Marshall Kauffman Boxing Promoter
"Wilder looked like a shot fighter and I am disappointed that Malik Scott never seen that in him, or maybe he did and just cashed out on a shot fighter.
"Props to Joseph Parker who not many, including myself, gave a chance in the fight. Parker deserves a big fight once again!!!"
Arijan Goricki IBO International title contender
"This fight was little shock for me. I never saw that outcome. It shows once again why activity matters. Just punching the bag and pads and looking good doing it, don't win the fights. Wilder was looking like he is finished in his head, like he don't have any more confidence in his power."
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