Earlier today in his native New Zealand, former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker crushed a game but out of his depth Alexander Flores via impressively brutal third-round KO. Parker stunned Flores as he was pinned on the ropes, sending him to the canvas with a right hand. Then, in wasting no time at all in going for the finish, Parker blazed away, prompting the referee to dive in and call a halt to the fight. Time was 2:51 of round-three.
Parker, in scoring his first win of the year, improves to 25-2(19). Flores, a huge underdog upon entering the ring, falls to 17-2-1(15).
Before today’s fight Parker vowed to be meaner in the ring, that there would be “no more Mr. Nice Guy.” The former champ kept his word, but he perhaps went a little too far. There was controversy attached to Parker’s win, in that Flores was belted low a few times, for which Parker was warned. In fact, a low blow immediately preceded the right hand shot that sent Flores to the mat in the third-round.
Parker was pleased with his win, as was his team, but Flores does have a case for feeling at least a little aggrieved.
“He hit me with a low blow. I felt it,” Flores said. “As soon as I felt the shot I put my right hand down, he came with a left hand, then a straight right. It’ll show on the video.”
Some fans have watched the fight again, and yes, Flores does have a case. But Parker’s trainer, Kevin Barry, is having none of it:
“He didn’t knock him out with a low blow, he knocked him out with a right hand on the chin and spun his eyes in the back of his head and he was down for about two minutes with his eye split open,” Barry said. “If anything it might silence a few people who said that Joseph’s too much of a nice guy.”
It will indeed. For as controversial as the ending to today’s fight was, Parker’s punching and his sheer killer instinct were also very impressive. Today’s KO win marks the first time since way back in 2016, against Alexander Dimitrenko, that Parker has scored a stoppage win.
So what next for Parker? He has said a few times how he really wants a rematch with Dillian Whyte (who decisioned him in a great battle in the summer), but there is also talk of a big fight with Lucas Browne, perhaps in the first quarter of next year.
For now, the low blows aside, Joseph Parker is back. And he has shown he can be nasty in the ring.