Anthony Joshua Goes The Distance In Unanimous Points Win Over Joseph Parker
Anthony Joshua was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career in Cardiff tonight but maintained his 100% win record with a unanimous points decision over New Zealand's Joseph Parker.
AJ now holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles and is on course for a showdown with WBC king Deontay Wilder in a bid to become the first man to unify the heavyweight division since Lennox Lewis.
In truth, it wasn't the most thrilling spectacle tonight, made much worse by a particularly eager referee who insisted on getting among the two fighters at the sight of any clinch.
Joshua began the opening round as the aggressor but struggled to breakdown his Kiwi opponent who'd come to box and had some decent luck with his jab, starting the contest the quicker of the two.
The Watford man began to get a grip on the fight in the third, successfully landing some crunching combinations on Parker against the ropes.
The fight came alive in the sixth, with Parker coming out at the bell like a man possessed, charging at the home fighter and forcing him in to the ropes and two combatants exchanged a thrilling close-quarters dual.
Joshua looked to slow down in the seventh after taking some heavy body shots from Parker but responded well in the ninth landing a peach of a left on to his opponent's jaw.
Parker's raiding attacks continued to unsettle AJ, but neat work from Joshua opened up a cut over his foe's eye in the 10th.
The infamously tough New Zealander managed to hold out to hear the final bell which would be a new experience for Anthony Joshua.
The unanimous points decision in Joshua's favour came as no surprise. Joseph Parker put up a spirited effort but in truth never really looked like pulling ahead against the much more aggressive Joshua.
In his post-match interview, Joshua had no hesitation in naming Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury as his most desirable future opponents.
On a possible unification fight with Wilder, the 28-year-old said: "Get him in the ring and I will knock him spark out".