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Joseph Parker and Katie Taylor Win in Manchester

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  • Joseph Parker and Katie Taylor Win in Manchester

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    By David A. Avila

    Former heavyweight titlist Joseph Parker survived an early knockdown by Dereck Chisora and rallied back to win by split decision and retain credibility as a heavyweight contender on Saturday.

    New Zealand’s Parker (29-2, 21 KOs) used a tactical strategy to survive the early onslaught from heavy-handed Chisora (32-11, 23 KOs) and eke out a win at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

    It was the second consecutive fight that saw Chisora lose a close fight by decision.

    Parker was floored with the first overhand right that Chisora landed in the opening seconds of the fight. But he survived and waited until Chisora slowed down his attack before scoring with quick combinations and moving out of danger. Two of the judges felt Parker won most of the rounds, scoring it it 116-111 and 115-113 for Parker. A third judge scored it for Chisora at 115-113.

    Chisora walked out angry at the two judges scores. Last October he lost a close decision to Ukrainian fighter Oleksandr Usyk.

    Katie Wins

    In the co-main event, Ireland’s Katie Taylor (18-0) maintained the undisputed lightweight world championship with a gritty performance over England’s Natasha Jonas (9-2-1) winning by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

    No knockdowns were scored in the fight but Taylor was simply the busier fighter throughout the world title contest. But Jonas had her moments in the second half of the match. It just wasn’t enough.

    Jonas and Taylor had met before during the 2012 London Olympic quarter-finals and the Irish fighter eliminated her back then too. Some things do not change and it was the busier Taylor who simply out-punched Jonas.

    Scores were 96-94 and 96-95 twice for Taylor who remains undisputed lightweight world champion. This was her third defense as undisputed.

    Bivol Wins

    Russia’s Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) retained the WBA light heavyweight title with his typical methodical style to win by unanimous decision over United Kingdom’s Craig Richards (16-2-1) after 12 rounds.

    Bivol simply stayed within distance to strike and counter Richards who attempted to match with similar tactics. Things changed in the last three rounds with Richards finally taking chances but it was too late.

    All three judges scored it for Bivol but with different scores at 118-110, 115-114, 115-113. It was the sixth world title defense for the Russian.


    Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon (24-3-1, 17 KOs) traveled to England as the underdog for the heavy-hitting James Tennyson (28-4, 24 KOs) and engaged in a firefight that resulted in the hometown fighter floored by a big left cross and ending the fight at 2:10 of the first round to win the vacant IBO lightweight world title.

    Straffon fights out of Mexico City and has not lost a fight since 2017.

    Eubank wins

    Chris Eubank Jr. (30-2, 22 KOs) handily defeated Marcus Morrison (23-4, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in a middleweight showdown. No knockdowns were scored by either fighter, but Eubanks showed off some new tricks taught by Roy Jones Jr. his new trainer.

    All three judges scored it 98-92 for Eubank who seeks a world title challenge.


    Campbell Hatton (2-0), the son of the great Ricky Hatton, won his second pro fight and again by decision. This time Hatton defeated Levi Dunn (0-5) by unanimous decision after four rounds in a lightweight bout.

    Photo credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel