Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) used his high work rate to destroy Joseph Parker (30-3, 21 KOs) by an 11th round knockout to win the interim WBO heavyweight title on Saturday night.
When Joyce increased the pace suddenly at the start of the 11th, Parker fell apart and was taken out. He’d been fighting on fumes in the last four rounds, and there was no way that he could withstand the assault from Joyce in the 11th.
Fighting in front of a big crowd at the AO Arena in Manchester, England, the ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce became the first person to knockout former WBO heavyweight champion Parker.
Parker had been tiring since as early as the fourth round, but he somehow willed himself to stay in the fight despite getting outworked by the fresher, more energetic Joyce.
“It was a tough fight, and I praise Joseph Parker. He’s improving, and he game me what a tough fight. I really enjoyed it. It was tough in there. I had to dig deep to get through the rounds. I really enjoyed it, though.
“I hit him with literally everything that I’ve got. The kitchen sink, the handbag, everything, and body shots. I tried it all. But he was still coming forward, game, and I managed to drop him at the end. But it was hard work.
“Usyk, I’m very feel. Let’s get it on,” said Joyce.
In the 11th round, Joyce finally went for the kills, landing huge shots without letting up. Joyce then caught Parker with a tremendous left hook that put him down. Parker tried to get back to his feet, but he was out of it, and the fight was then halted by referee Steve Gray.
Joyce probably could have taken Parker out a lot earlier in the fight if he’d put his shots together with more energy, but he took his time and waited until the 11th to finally go for the big finish.
Joyce had been outworking the younger fighter Parker throughout the fight, jabbing him hard and hitting him with hard left hooks and right hands.
He bloodied Parker’s nose in the fourth round, and cut him over his right eye in the ninth. Once the cut happened, you could tell that the end was near for Parker. He wasn’t going to be able to continue fighting for much longer with him bleeding the way he was, and totally exhausted.
Parker’s power was there the entire fight. He was countering Joyce with some tremendous shots that would have knocked out or badly hurt a typical heavyweight, but he wasn’t affected.
Parker tried as hard as he could but he couldn’t keep Joyce off him, and that was the story of the fight. If Parker was more mobile, he probably could have stayed out of the way of many of Joyce’s hurtful blows, and made it to the end
. Obviously, Parker wasn’t going to win the fight by moving nonstop for 12 rounds, so he chose to slug with Joyce, hoping he’d score a knockout.