Britain’s Anthony Joshua moved a step closer to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion of the world on Saturday after beating New Zealander Joseph Parker on a unanimous points decision in their title unification bout.
The 2012 Olympic champion, taken to 12 rounds for the first time in his professional career after 20 previous knockouts, added Parker’s WBO belt to his own WBA Super, IBF and IBO titles.
The three judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 to Joshua, leaving only Deontay Wilder’s WBC title still to conquer.
With the current feat, Joshua moves a step closer to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
“It’s difficult when someone comes in and is backing off a lot of the time and so on and so forth, but so be it, history was made, Joseph (Parker) played a massive part in this, his whole camp did, and I’m honored to have shared the ring with him.
“… and what’s interesting is Joseph won’t give up now, do you know what I mean, he’s still young, competitive, and I’ve a feeling we’ll definitely see Joseph Parker again but, as you said, I think just on this evening I was more focused, more disciplined, and I carried out the tactics and I was the better man it seemed,” Joshua said after the contest.
Both fighters had stepped into the ring undefeated, with Joshua weighing in six pounds heavier than his shorter opponent and with a longer reach.
If some had expected an early knockout it did not pan out that way, even if Joshua could be said to have controlled most of the 12 rounds by using his jab and left hooks to telling effect.