The English fighter added his fourth title of the category to beat the New Zealander with a particularity: for the first time in his career, he did not win by knockout.
Anthony Joshua celebrated the 21st victory of his career but with a particularity: for the first time he did not win through the knockout.
The feeling of the heavyweights was unanimously imposed in the cards to the New Zealander boxer Joseph Parker at Cardiff Stadium that sold out its 78 thousand seats with the expectation of a fight that had on the ring to two athletes who came here undefeated.
Following a fight in which the pace was slowed by the many interventions of referee Giuseppe Quartarone, two judges favored Joshua with a score of 118-110 while the other had won by a score 119-109.
Joshua (21-0-0, 20 KOs) had won his previous 20 fights KO, but ran into a very resilient and elusive opponent Parker (24-1-0, 18 KO), who remained on his feet because of his movements and his counter-attacks. At no time, the British Nigerian giant of 1.98 meters managed to corner the ocean.
However, some good combination of punches, especially between the 4th and 5th round, together with different interventions on the closing, justified their triumph and the unification of the four crowns of the category that was in play.
Parker, 1.93 meters and 26 years old, suffered a defeat for the first time in his career after winning 24 times – 18 before the bell -. However, he may hold the nickname of not having been knocked down at any time by one of the fighters of the moment who did achieve that goal with all his previous opponents.
Joshua, at 28, has in his record a resounding victory against the powerful Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko. In Wales, he put into play his crowns of superchampion of the World Association (AMB), the International Federation (FIB) and the International Organization (OIB) -. However, with the victory, he appropriated the title of the category of the World Organization (OMB) presented by his opponent. He is at a belt to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000.
This was only the second unification fight in the history of the heavyweight between two undefeated boxers. The first starred Mike Tyson and Tony Tucker in 1987.
Having met this challenge, the London 2012 Olympic champion could face the American Deontay Wilder in the future.
Deontay Wilder currently holds the other important belt in this weight category, the World Boxing Council. Wilder and Joshua could do battle before the end of 2018.