Joseph Parker overcame a first-round knockdown to defeat Derek Chisora by split decision following a brutal heavyweight battle in Manchester.
The New Zealander got off to a disastrous start, hitting the canvas in the opening seconds, and Parker showed courage with his stylish combinations to secure the win with scores of 115-113 and 116-111, with Chisora receiving a score from 115-113. .
Chisora had been convinced by her mother to move on with the fight, amid an argument in the ring, but her desire for battle could not be questioned in a dramatic first round.
Parker was struck down after just seven seconds by a clubbing right hand from a creeping Chisora.
Charging forward, Chisora unloaded right hands with savage intent in the second, then sent Parker crashing down onto the ropes with a looping hook in the third.
Parker was punished, a hurtful introduction to Chisora’s fierceness, who picked up with muffled body shots in the fourth.
A looping right hand, the shot that forced the knockdown, prompted Parker to flinch in the fifth before Chisora punched around the belt line.
But Parker, finally, began to wedge Chisora with clean right hands in the sixth round.
A flurry of punches from Parker appeared to briefly knock out Chisora in the seventh and they shared a shootout at the end of the eighth, swinging in wild hooks.
With Chisora out of breath, Parker pushed him back with punches in the ninth, while the Kiwi hit back sharply in the 10th.
Parker remained in charge in the 11th, ripping in a crisp right hand, and Chisora’s robust attack on the final lap was not enough to avoid defeat.