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Parker overpowers Wilder in unanimous heavyweight decision win

Riyadh (AFP) – Joseph Parker outboxed fellow former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a unanimous points decision win in Riyadh on Saturday.

Parker’s total dominance was reflected by all three judges, who scored the non-title fight 118-111, 118-110, 120-108 in the New Zealander’s favour.

His victory may have scuppered a long-awaited clash between Wilder and another former world heavyweight champion in Britain’s Anthony Joshua, who faced Sweden’s Otto Wallin in the main event of the same bill in Saudi Arabia later Saturday.

There had been further speculation that the winner of a Wilder-Joshua clash, assuming the latter also won Saturday, would face the winner of February’s clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, who between them currently hold all the major versions of the world heavyweight title

But Parker, a former World Boxing Organisation title-holder, was too strong and too skilled as he comprehensively defeated Wilder in what was the former World Boxing Council champion’s first bout in over two years.

“Everyone had other plans but this is God’s plan,” Parker told broadcaster DAZN after a comprehensive win.

Parker, who is now just the second man to defeat Wilder in a professional contest, also paid tribute to Fury’s input into this success.

“This is massive and the best opponent I’ve ever faced,” said Parker, who improved to 34-3 with 23 knockouts.

“Tyson Fury gave us his time with sparring and was massively important.”

Renowned as a knockout artist, Wilder was involved in a trio of dramatic bouts with current WBC champion Fury, drawing the first before losing the next two.

Wilder’s long period of inactivity appeared to count against the 38-year-old, with Parker landing the cleaner punches as well as producing several thumping roundhouse rights.

The American briefly rallied in the eighth round but did well to make it to the bell as Parker, 31, hit back with several telling blows.

“My timing was up a little bit,” said Wilder, who fell to 43-3 with 1 draw and 42 knockouts. “Well done Joseph, he did a great job avoiding my punches. We move on to the next thing.

“We aren’t going to base it off that. We live to see another day and that is what it’s all about.”

Wilder, asked if all the talk of a fight with Joshua had been a distraction, replied: “A little bit. It was a lot of talk about a lot of things. We make no excuses. We’ll be back for sure. We have a little bit more left.”

But he added: “I’ve done a great job with managing my money and investing. I’m a happy fighter. I’ll be back soon and if not, it’s been a pleasure.”

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