‘MASTERCLASS’ WAS THE buzzword boomed out by celebrated trainer Andy Lee following his pupil Joseph Parker completely outfoxing Deontay Wilder as part of the Day of Reckoning spectacular staged in Riyadh in December, 2023.

Parker, in most quarters, wasn’t the fancied fighter heading into the co-headline attraction at the Kingdom Arena. Indeed, as it was confirmed afterwards, contracts had been signed for Wilder to finally face Anthony Joshua, if things had played out differently.

But the big New Zealander and his Irish coach were having none of it and inserted their own twist in this gripping heavyweight saga. Pre-booking of future fights rarely works out well in this curious sport of boxing.

The 32-year-old outthought, outworked and outfought the biggest puncher on the planet, while also avoiding the fabled right hand of the Bronze Bomber.

The reward for the popular Parker was a shot at the WBO Interim world champion Zhilei Zhang in March, back in Riyadh.

Despite being put to the canvas by the Chinese giant in the third and eighth round, Parker’s workrate saw to it that Zhang toiled in the later rounds and a majority decision favoured Parker at the conclusion of the fight.

Key to the recent success of the former WBO world champion. In the wake of his sole stoppage loss to Joe Joyce in late 2022, Parker made himself busy over the course of 2023, fighting four times including two in Riyadh.

Parker is now well positioned and occupies the mandatory position with the WBO to face the winner out of the forthcoming undisputed battle between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on May 18.

The fighting pride of his homeland, Parker has now featured on the Battle of the Baddest blockbuster, The Day of Reckoning and Knockout Chaos.

Riyadh has quickly become his destination of choice.

Parker destroyed Simon Kean inside three rounds on the undercard of Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou, fulfilling his desire to remain active and maintain the momentum he has gathered across 2023.

He has always maintained himself as a force in the division and became world champion himself at the end of 2016 when he defeated Andy Ruiz to put his name on the WBO belt. He went on to make a successful defence against Razvan Conjanu before taking his show on the road and, ultimately, defusing the Bomb Squad and the Big Bang.

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  • trainerAndy Lee
  • place of birthAuckland, New Zealand
  • residenceMorecambe, United Kingdom
STANCE Orthodox
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