December 9, 2022

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Joseph Parker climbs off the canvas in the first seven seconds to beat Derek Chisora

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His mother talked him into the ring on Saturday night and now it might be time for her to talk him out of doing it again. Derek Chisora continues to offer fine value in the Indian summer of his long career, but the losses are adding up.

This latest one, at the hands of Joseph Parker, came after a brilliantly absorbing fight. And it was close, devilishly so, given it was a split decision. But at the age of 37, and with 11 defeats on his record, the question is whether the Londoner has much more to gain from the rigours of this business.

Certainly, he can still handle himself. If anything, he has actually grown more entertaining with age, as shown again by dropping Parker in the first and pummelling his body thereafter. But the subject of retirement that so frustrates him will now inevitably resurface, and perhaps it is one he should consider more fully after falling short again in his efforts to move inwards from the fringes of the heavyweight picture.

Joseph Parker climbed off the canvas to defeat Joseph Parker after a gruelling 12-round clash

Joseph Parker climbed off the canvas to defeat Joseph Parker after a gruelling 12-round clash

Joseph Parker climbed off the canvas to defeat Joseph Parker after a gruelling 12-round clash

Parker's hand is raised to signal his ever so narrow triumph over Chisora on Saturday

Parker's hand is raised to signal his ever so narrow triumph over Chisora on Saturday

Parker’s hand is raised to signal his ever so narrow triumph over Chisora on Saturday

Parker celebrates following his hard-fought victory via split decision on Saturday night

Parker celebrates following his hard-fought victory via split decision on Saturday night

Parker celebrates following his hard-fought victory via split decision on Saturday night

Chisora, 37, floored the former world champion after just seven seconds in Manchester

Chisora, 37, floored the former world champion after just seven seconds in Manchester

Chisora, 37, floored the former world champion after just seven seconds in Manchester

The 29-year-old was up on his feet and survived the count amid an early Chisora onslaught

The 29-year-old was up on his feet and survived the count amid an early Chisora onslaught

The 29-year-old was up on his feet and survived the count amid an early Chisora onslaught

Del Boy enjoyed huge success in the opening five rounds, pinning Parker against the ropes

Del Boy enjoyed huge success in the opening five rounds, pinning Parker against the ropes

Del Boy enjoyed huge success in the opening five rounds, pinning Parker against the ropes

Chisora followed coach Buddy McGirt's plan to a tee in a very promising opening to the fight

Chisora followed coach Buddy McGirt's plan to a tee in a very promising opening to the fight

Chisora followed coach Buddy McGirt’s plan to a tee in a very promising opening to the fight

What goes against that argument is that it was no stinker of a performance. Far from it, because he played his part in a quality match. Granted, it didn’t justify its billing as the headline act, because Katie Taylor’s successful defence on points of the undisputed lightweight titles deserved that status, but it was a very good contribution to an exciting fight nonetheless.

Ultimately it was in a losing cause, with the cards favouring Parker for his second-half revival. Chisora won 115-113 according to one judge, but two went for Parker by 116-111 and 115-113.

The 116-111 was ludicrous but the fight was too close to be considered a robbery, even if Chisora was livid. He said: ‘I am beyond getting upset now. I train hard, I bring everything and this is the treatment I get from boxing. Same as last fight (a decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk). They don’t like me. I put it all in there and this is the result I get. This is unbelievable. Even his coach Andy Lee said I won the fight.’

However, Parker grew in confidence as the fight wore on, and the Kiwi began to find his range

However, Parker grew in confidence as the fight wore on, and the Kiwi began to find his range

However, Parker grew in confidence as the fight wore on, and the Kiwi began to find his range

The former WBO champion landed the more eye-catching punches against the tiring Chisora

The former WBO champion landed the more eye-catching punches against the tiring Chisora

The former WBO champion landed the more eye-catching punches against the tiring Chisora

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Parker came on strong in the championship rounds and opened up with some big shots

Parker came on strong in the championship rounds and opened up with some big shots

Parker came on strong in the championship rounds and opened up with some big shots

His sense of conviction was derived from him landing the most dramatic punch of the night, with a knockdown after only seven seconds via a looping right hand behind Parker’s ear. It was some way to start a fight that almost didn’t happen, if you are to take Chisora’s words at face value in that weird row over a lost coin toss to determine who entered the ring second. According to those with a vested interest in marketing this encounter, it was only the intervention of Chisora’s mother that enabled it to subsequently go ahead, but whatever one makes of all that, the action in the ring from that knockdown onwards was authentic and compelling.

Chisora went on to dominate most of the opening five rounds, particularly with his shots to the body. He was looking very good indeed, but the mystery was whether he would have the engine to sustain it. He had come in at his lightest since 2018 for this fight under the eyes of a legendary trainer in Buddy McGirt, but at 37 it was surely a pace he couldn’t keep up. 

Alas, he couldn’t. Parker settled into a rhythm with his superior skills and over the second part of the bout the New Zealander was able to pull level. Did he do enough to win, despite the knockdown? It is a hard one to answer, so calls for the rematch will have some momentum.

The bout went to the judges' scorecards and Parker was awarded the fight by split decision

The bout went to the judges' scorecards and Parker was awarded the fight by split decision

The bout went to the judges’ scorecards and Parker was awarded the fight by split decision

The heavyweight rivals talk after Parker won the fight 116-111, 115-113, 113-115 on Saturday

The heavyweight rivals talk after Parker won the fight 116-111, 115-113, 113-115 on Saturday

The heavyweight rivals talk after Parker won the fight 116-111, 115-113, 113-115 on Saturday

A furious Chisora said that boxing ‘does not like’ him and felt that he had won the contest

It was a good fight, all told, even if it wasn’t fully a match for Taylor-Jonas. Taylor had raced ahead by taking four of the opening five rounds, but from there Jonas, who had twice lost to the brilliant Irishwoman in the amateurs, hit back. They were level going into the final two after an absorbing, high-class fight that was rich in lengthy exchanges, before Taylor closed well.

‘Every time we fight it is edge of your seat and this was no different,’ said Taylor. ‘I thought I won the championship rounds and it is a great win.’

Earlier, Chris Eubank Jr outclassed Marcus Morrison in a 10-rounder in his first fight after joining up with Roy Jones Jr, and Craig Richards put up a brave fight in an unsuccessful challenge for the WBA light-heavyweight world title held by Russia’s Dmitry Bivol. Meanwhile, Campbell Hatton made it two wins from two as a professional with a points victory over Levi Dunn. As with his debut in March, Hatton, 20, fell short in a scrappy rush for a knockout, but was marginally more composed in his work. He won the four-rounder by 40-36.

Hatton said: ‘It was night and day to my debut. I was more relaxed, used my brain more, so I am a lot more pleased.’ 

The heavyweight pair embrace following the gruelling fight in Manchester

The heavyweight pair embrace following the gruelling fight in Manchester

The heavyweight pair embrace following the gruelling fight in Manchester

Parker and Chisora snack on burgers after the heavyweight fight that went the distance

Parker and Chisora snack on burgers after the heavyweight fight that went the distance

Parker and Chisora snack on burgers after the heavyweight fight that went the distance

Re-live all the action from Derek Chisora v Joseph Parker, brought to you by Sportsmail’s OLLIE LEWIS. 

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