Earlier today in New Zealand unbeaten heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker kept his perfect record and made the transition to genuine contender with a hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision over experienced Cameroonian Carlos Takam. Parker triumphed by scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 115-113. Now 19-0(16) the man from Auckland earned a shot at IBF heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua. Takam, who came to fight but was just not busy enough, falls to 33-3-1(25).
Parker was stung by some shots in the early going, before finding his groove and outworking the man 11 years his senior at age 35. Parker displayed fast hands, a fine left jab and he also has a good body attack in his arsenal. Takam, showing his experience, tagged his man with some nice counters, but Parker showed a good chin. The best action of what was generally a tactical fight came in the 8th, when both men traded in exciting fashion. By far the outstanding session of the fight, a good and engrossing one all the way, the 8th saw both men slug.
This effort took plenty out of both men, but Parker dug deep, much deeper than Takam, and made sure he closed the show by giving it all he had. Takam looked good in bursts, but he simply was not busy enough. Takam also showed a good chin, though. Both men were exhausted or close to it at the final bell, and Takam looked dejected, knowing he had lost. Parker now looks forward to a date with Joshua (should Joshua defeat Dominic Breazeale next month) – but the winner did say post-fight how he knows more work is required for him to become a champion.
“That was a tough, exciting fight,” Parker said. “I still have a lot to learn. We’ll celebrate this victory and then get back to the gym and train.”
Parker looked great at times and he passed the biggest test of his career by showing heart, determination and good all-round skills. Parker, in beating Takam, has arguably beaten better quality opposition than has IBF ruler A.J. We now know Parker can grit his teeth, take a good shot and go 12 hard rounds at top level. Should Joshua remain champion, he has a very live challenger waiting for him.