Stuns Deontay Wilder via unanimous decision with dominant performance
Deontay Wilder waited too long to make his move and it cost him the bout, reports Sean Leahy for Yahoo Sports.
Joseph Parker beat Wilder via unanimous decision (118-111, 118-110, 120-108) in a heavyweight bout during the “The Day of Reckoning” in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.
Wilder, who entered the fight with 42 of his 43 wins coming via knockout, waited for his opportunity to add another KO to his ledger, but couldn’t find an opening, and Parker took advantage.
With Wilder seemingly waiting for his chance to land a fight-ending blow, Parker kept being the aggressor and coming inside and winning round after round. According to CompuBox, Parker landed 89 of 255 punches — 60 of them coming as power punches — compared to Wilder’s 39 out of 204.
As the fight went on, and Wilder continued to wait for his moment, Parker pounced and got more inside with each round. Eventually, those power punches added up and weakened Wilder.
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Parker was winning rounds, and Wilder ran out of time to try and win on the scorecards. His only option was via a knockout or TKO. Even his corner was trying to tell him to go at Parker in later rounds, but the urgency wasn’t there. When Wilder did try to be the aggressor, it was too little, too late.
This was only Wilder’s second fight since October 2021, which was his third fight against Tyson Fury. His last fight, a first-round KO of Robert Helenius, was his only action in the two years since the second loss to Fury. So, did inactivity play a role in Wilder’s performance?
“It could have, but we’re not going to base it off of that,” Wilder said afterward. “We did what we did and we move on to the next. We live to see another day and that’s what it’s all about.”
Wilder added that talk of a potential fight with Anthony Joshua in March was “a little distracting,” but in the end it was Parker’s night.
As for Parker, he stuck to his strategy and it paid off handsomely.
“Stay calm, stay relaxed, stay focused, switch on for every second, every minute of every round,” Parker said. “There’s always things to work on, but today we got the win. Merry Christmas to us.”