Trusts Arena Auckland – Joseph Parker came out firing from the first round to break down and ultimately stop durable veteran and former world title challenger Kali Meehan early in the 3rd round of their scheduled 12 round fight to cap off a busy night of action.
Stable mate, undefeated Polish heavyweight Izu Ugonoh improved to 14(11)-0 with a first round knockout of the overmatched Ghanaian champion Ibrahim Labaran 13(11)-4. Coming out throwing a stiff jab Ugonoh soon had Labaran in trouble with thudding shots to the body and a hard overhand right that put Labaran down. Further right hands saw Labaran down again and although he beat the count showed little appetite for continuing forcing the referee to wave it off and furnishing Ugonoh with a TKO.
Ugonoh also picks up the WBO African and WBA Oceania titles along with what will be a likely jump in the WBO rankings to a probable number 15.
The chief undercard support fight between Aussie Jeff Horn and Argentinean Alfredo Blanco turned out to be a wild and woolly 10 round affair with Horn ultimately coasting to a unanimous 10 round decision, but not before he’d tasted some leather himself.
At times the highly touted Australian abandoned defence in favour of total attack which saw him dig hard shots to both the body and head. Blanco had his moments though tagging Horn with left hands and the occasional uppercut. The tough Blanco took Horn’s best shots and tried to give as good as he got but didn’t possess enough firepower to keep the Australian off him. He did put in a game effort though that saw him make it to the final bell.
In the main event and in front of a raucous crowd Joseph Parker came out throwing bombs with bad intentions. The first two minutes of the fight saw parker establish dominance in the middle of the ring with a laser-like jab before punctuating the end if the round with hard left and right hands to both the body and head of Meehan.
The second round staring furiously with both fighters exchanging hard shots as Parker began to work Meehan’s body. With 18 seconds left parker wobbled Meehan with a chopping right hand that saw Meehan holding on in an effort to regain his legs.
The third started in similar fashion before Parker ended it with one big right hand with more than two minutes left in the round. Meehan staggered to his feet but couldn’t beat the count which possibly ended a long and distinguished career.
Parker moves to 16(14)-0 and looking to fight again in December.