The boxing world was left stunned by Derek Chisora’s bravery and even more shocked by the scorecard as Joseph Parker took out an enthralling heavyweight rematch.
Parker scored three knockdowns but the Kiwi had to go the distance against a resilient Chisora who refused to give in.
It was the second time in seven months the two had met in the ring after Parker scored a narrow victory earlier in the year.
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This one was far more dominant and yet, the scorecards did not reflect that dominance, with Parker taking a unanimous decision win of 115-110, 115-111 and 114-112.
That 114-112 scorecard in particular had plenty in the boxing world confused.
“These are criminally — criminally — bad scorecards,” Sports Illustrated’s senior writer Chris Mannix tweeted.
“Parker scored three knockdowns and won at least nine rounds. These are investigation-worry scorecards.”
“Maybe the worst card of the year,” added ESPN boxing expert Mike Coppinger.
“So one judge found six rounds for Chisora and the other two found five. And one judge gave Parker a 10-9 in one of the rounds he scored a knockdown in. Ludicrous. Wasn’t a difficult fight to score.”
In the end though, Chisora did deserve plenty of praise for a gutsy effort to last the entire 12 words and test Parker’s endurance and patience.
“He was one tough guy, he didn’t stop coming until the end,” Parker said post-fight.
“I felt stronger in there and it was important to start well.
“I stuck to the game plan as best I could but there is more to come. He’s a credit to the sport of boxing; he’s very entertaining.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn echoed those sentiments, simply declaring Chisora is “not human” while revealing whether a world title fight is on the horizon for Parker.
“How that fight went 12 rounds, I’ll never know,” he said.
“It was a massive win for Joseph Parker. There was zero quit in Derek Chisora. This is the toughest sport in the world and both those guys deserve huge credit.
“Derek Chisora’s a prizefighter, I’m sure he’ll be back, but Joseph Parker wants another shot at the world title.
“There is a queue, but he’s positioned himself really well. Maybe a final eliminator against Filip Hrgovic with the IBF. The career is alive and kicking for Joseph Parker. This was a brilliant way to end 2021.”