Are a lot of us sleeping on Joseph Parker going into the former WBO heavyweight champion’s December 23rd fight with Deontay Wilder? When the fight was first announced, it’s safe to say that the immediate reaction of most fight fans was, ‘It’s a decent fight, but Wilder will knock him out.’
Maybe Wilder, 43-2-1(42), will tag Parker with something big, either early in the fight or during the later rounds (we know Wilder has that quite rare ability to carry his power into the last round of a fight). But Parker’s promoter, David Higgins, says “it’s naïve to write anyone off” whenever two big men get in the ring. And Parker, 33-3(23) can punch himself, although not as violently as Wilder. And Parker is the younger, arguably faster man, and he has been active whereas Wilder will be having his first fight in well over a year come December 23 in Saudi Arabia.
Higgins also states how his guy is the better boxer of the two. No argument there. But can Parker really derail some huge plans (for a Wilder-Anthony Joshua showdown) by defeating Wilder next month? You bet he can, Higgins says – adding how Parker is capable of doing so by KO.
“Simon Kean was a big guy, and Joseph knocked him out with an uppercut,” Higgins said to Sky Sports in recalling Parker’s most recent win. “It was his third victory this calendar year, and Wilder will be the fourth. We like the momentum Joseph has. Any heavyweight can knock out a heavyweight. Joseph has got over 20 knockouts on his resume. Wilder has got a punch, one of the biggest in history, but Joseph does have some advantages. He is the better boxer; he’s quicker. Wilder may have a massive punch, but outside of that, he’s not as well-developed as Parker. It’s a winnable fight for Parker if he brings his A-game. Yeah, I do [believe Parker can KO Wilder]. He put Chisora down a few times with the uppercut. It’s all about connecting with a well-timed punch. Of course, he can knock out Deontay Wilder.”
Thus far, only one man has ever KO’d Wilder, this being Tyson Fury. There is a whole lot of difference between knocking down an aging warrior like Chisora and knocking down Wilder. But could Wilder be the aging warrior in the December 23 fight? How much did those Fury battles take out of Wilder? Would it be a monster shock if Parker did catch Wilder, dropped him, and stopped him? Maybe not.
Parker is the underdog here, but he for sure is a live dog. Parker has fast hands and he seems to be well up for this fight. Wilder on the other hand may feel this fight is a straightforward one for him, as he closes in on a much bigger fight. We’ve all seen what can happen when a fighter looks too far ahead in a fight.
All this said, Wilder IS the pick to win here. But Parker won’t go easily. Or quickly.