Joe Joyce dismantled former world champion Joseph Parker and blasted him with a fearsome left hook to win a WBO heavyweight title in 11 rounds at Manchester Arena.
No one before had stopped Parker, who has been at arm’s length with Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in the past. The New Zealander had never collapsed so brutally.
Not only did Joyce win the WBO interim title, but most importantly, he defended his place as the leading contender for their full heavyweight championship, one of the three title belts held by Ukrainian star Oleksandr Usyk.
- Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua’s contract is imminent but time is running out
- Charr: Tyson ‘promised’ a fight | “Fury, call me and sign a contract”
- Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall confirmed for October 15th
After the fight, Joyce unequivocally demanded a showdown with the unified champion.
“I feel very good,” he said, citing Usyk’s own slogan. “Let’s do it!”
It was the conclusion of Joyce’s most impressive professional performance to date.
The Londoner looks beatable to many rivals, his hands aren’t the fastest, his feet aren’t the lightest, his head begs to be touched too often.
But while Joyce doesn’t necessarily fight in spectacular fashion, his results are hugely impressive. He understands his own style and knows how to physically impose himself on an opponent.
Parker had success cracking lead shots directly to Joyce’s chin with his back hand, but these came sporadically. Meanwhile, Joyce worked and wore him down.
The Londoner got off to a busy start and set the pace from the first laps. He was also clever at how he initially came down on Parker with long, heavy shots, only later closing in to pound Parker’s body and head with close-range pounding hooks.
When Parker seemed to be breathing heavily, Joyce remained implacable and expressionless. He just got on with his work, knocking down his rights and maintaining a ferocious pace in his performance.
A fine left hook left Parker with a severe cut through his right eye. This spurred Joyce to brutally attack again.
There’s no doubt that Parker has heart. He slammed his own left hook into Joyce. He forced a break in attack in the 10th round and doubled his left.
But any hope Parker might have found back then, Joyce mercilessly extinguished.
Cruel shots hit Parker from both hands. Joyce felt his prey wither and increased his intensity.
A massive left hook bombarded Parker’s jaw, knocking him over. He fell heavily onto the deck, stunned.
As brave as he tried to get up, the referee had to stop him in the 11th round.
“A little tired,” Joyce said lightly afterwards.
“What a fighter and what a great fight,” he continued. “I really enjoyed it.
“I had to dig deep to make ends meet.
“I hit him with everything I’ve got, literally the kitchen sink, the purse, everything.”
That’s a bit of an understatement. Joe “the Juggernaut” Joyce marches to the top division of the heavyweight division.
“We move heaven and earth so that Usyk fights”
Joyce will now be aiming for a shot at a world title later this year or early 2023 – and appears to be in the best position to challenge unified champion Usyk.
Promoter Frank Warren added: “Joe has shown why he’s the juggernaut. I knew he would make it in the end, but hats off to Joseph Parker, he’s a brave warrior.
“We have a new kid on the block here. Joyce is like fine wine, it gets better with age.
“He is mandatory contender for the WBO title against Usyk and we will move heaven and earth to make sure he gets a chance.”
(c) Sky Sports 2022: Joe Joyce crushes Joseph Parker in 11 rounds and challenges Oleksandr Usyk to a World Championship match