By John J. Raspanti
Dillian Whyte scored two knockdowns and survived a another to win a unanimous decision over former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker at the O2 Arena in London, Eng. London,Eng Saturday night.
The scores were 113-112, 115-110 and 114-111 for Whyte.
Parker came out jabbing and punching in the opening round. Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) seemed surprised as Parker tattooed him with blows. Whyte pushed out a jab that was short. The quicker Parker moved to his left and nailed Whyte with a pretty shot to the body. Things changed quickly in the next stanza as Whyte picked up his pace. Both fighters landed brutal blows to the ribs. A clash of heads sent Parker to the canvas for the first time in his career.
Whyte staked Parker more aggressively in round three. He landed a sweeping right, but Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) seemed alright. Parker connected with a combination. Whyte fought back with a wicked hook to the body. Parker teetered but stayed upright. Whyte landed a good jab to Parker’s head.
In rounds four and five, the stronger Whyte manhandled Parker. He wrestled him into the ropes and stung him with jabs. Parker came right back with a good shot to the chin. Whyte battled back with blows of his own.
Whyte appeared to have the edge through the first four rounds. Parker got off first in round five. He connected with some good shots on the outside. Whyte stalked and rocked. He was awkward but effective. Whyte continued to beat Parker up on the inside. He likes it there. Parker needed to slow Whyte down, but couldn’t do it. He rallied in the last thirty seconds of the round to make it close.
Parker did better in round seven. He landed a solid right. Whyte absorbed it, Parker landed a three-punch combination, but Whyte’s jab snapped his head back. Whyte popped Parker with blows in round eight. Both fighters looked tired, but Whyte looked more determined. Parker needed to step on the gas but couldn’t find the pedal. Whyte landed a sweeping left hook that floored Parker for the second time. He tried to end things, but Parker hung in and fought back.
With two rounds left in the fight, Whyte appeared to have a comfortable lead on the scorecards. Parker needed to land something that would hurt Whyte. Maybe a club might help. He landed a few rights, but Whyte absorbed them without incident.
In rounds 11 and 12, Whyte tagged Parker with more shots to the head. Parker finally hurt Whyte with a combination of blows, but Whyte fought back. Parker was told by his corner he needed a knockout in the last round to win. Whyte was tired. Parker landed a big right that caused Whyte to wobble. He dug down and fought back. Parker was winging shots with everything he had. He hurt Whyte again—and seconds later Whyte went down. Whyte got up and held on to Parker for dear life as the bell rang.
“Parker is slick,” said Whyte. “It was a weird experience. I went down. I got up and said OK. I’m still learning.”
“He’s still leaning like me,” said Parker. The better man won.”
In a heavyweight brawl, Dereck Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) and Carlos Takam (35-5, 27 KOs) gritted their teeth and went at it until underdog Chisora stopped Takam one minute into round eight.
Takam was in control most of the fight. In the opening round, he forced Chisora into the ropes and unloaded. A huge uppercut hurt him. A right hand wobbled him, but Chisora fought back and got in some good shots of his own.Takam connected with a number of hooks in round two.
Chisora fought back well, landing a few good blows to the body. Takam continued to outwork Chisora in rounds three and four. Chisora countered occasionally, but he wasn’t letting his hands go enough to win rounds.
In rounds five and six, both fighters connected with some wicked shots. Takam was busier, but Chisora landed the heavier blows. The crowd were on their feet screaming in the last 20 seconds of the stanza as Chisora clipped Takam with punches.
Takam was determined to stop Chisora in round seven. He landed numerous blows, but Chisora battled back. A big left uppercut knocked Takam back a step. A shocking right off the top of the head sent Takam stumbling to the canvas in round eight. The Frenchmen got up on shaky legs. Chisora stepped towards him and let fly with another overhand right from 10 Downing Street that put Takam on his back. Referee Howard Foster immediately waved off the contest.
Sparkling Katie Taylor retained her WBO and IBF world titles by stopping Kimberly Connor on the undercard of the Parker vs. Whyte heavyweight fight. Taylor’s use of speed and angles were too much for Connor to deal with.
Taylor, 32, as is her norm, started fast. She darted inside and out-landing two crisp right hands. She flashed quick combinations. Connor ate some shots and moved forward. She was a step slow and had to know it. Taylor (10-0, 5 KOs) rocked and rolled in round two. A headbutt produced heavy swelling under Taylor’s right eye.
In round three, perhaps worried about her eye, Taylor, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, connected with a number of hooks. Connor (13-4-2, 5 KOs) tried to fight back, but a body shot-followed by head shots wobbled her. After three more hooks to the head, referee Steve Gray waved off the contest.
The time was 1:43 seconds of round three. Taylor will be back in the ring October 6 in Chicago, Ill.
More O2 highlights
Eight months ago, Conor Benn barely survived the power of Cedrick Peynaud. Down twice in the opening round, Benn battled back to floor Peynaud late and sneak home with a debatable decision. They had to do it again right?
In the sequel, Peynaud, a native of France, did well in the opening stanza, but Benn scored an iffy knockdown in round two. Paynaud got up and clipped him with hooks to the head. Benn put the boxing aside and started slugging in round four-landing punches to the head and body.
Benn (13-0, 10 KOs) boxed and punched well in rounds five and six. Paynaud (6-6-3, 5 KOs) was still landing an occasional hook, but Benn was beating him to the punch. Benn sent Paynaud to the canvas with a solid shot to the belly in round seven. Paynaud was looking to land something big, but the faster Benn scored another knockdown in round nine. Paynaud knew he needed a knock out in the last round to win. He tried to land something significant, but Benn moved and jabbed, frustrating Paynaud.
The scores were 100-91, 98-90, 97-90
Fighting for the first time since being stopped by Callun Johnson four months later, former Commonwealth and British light heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni returned to the ring wars by stopping Emmanuel Feuzeu (10-8, 3 KOs) in the sixth round at the O2 Arena in London, Eng.
Buglioni (22-3-1, 16 KOs) mixed his attack to the head and body throughout the one-sided affair. Feuzeu would occasionally fight back, but after being tagged by a number of shots in round six, the referee waved off the contest.
The victory was never in question for the 29-year-old Buglioni as he attempts to rebuild his career after his devasting loss to Johnson.