Joe Joyce won the vacant interim WBO heavyweight title, and moved closer to a world title shot, as he halted Joseph Parker in the eleventh round of a scheduled twelve at the AO Arena in Manchester.
Parker (30-3, 21 KOs) peppered the jab in the first frame, and landed with some cuffing left hands, although Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) walked the visitor down and tried to cut off the ring.
Joyce’s jab took over in the second, and he landed with some solid blows to head and body, that troubled Parker, who was struggling to command his rival’s respect in the early going.
A chopping left hand from the home favourite in the third was felt by Parker, and the Londoner went to work, hurting the former world champion under a patient attack.
Parker, who was coming into the contest off back-to-back wins over Derek Chisora was landing and having success in the fourth, and connected with a flush right hand, but the ‘Juggernaut’ showed his granite chin, and shrugged the shot off.
Parker appeared to be struggling with the pace and lack of respite, and Joyce upped the pressure in the sixth, but the Kiwi was spirited, but cut above the right eye towards the end of the seventh from a slashing left hook.
Joyce just wouldn’t be denied, and was breaking his opponent’s heart, and a massive right hand in the eighth buckled the 30-year-old’s legs.
Parker landed in the ninth as he showed tremendous courage under fire, but yet again Joyce responded in kind, and round ten saw a more even session.
This forced the 37-year-old to crank up the pressure, and as he unloaded in the penultimate round, he uncorked a massive left hand that crumpled Parker to the canvas. He was unable to beat the count, and the fight was waved off.
Victory ensured Joyce extended his unbeaten record to 15 straight victories and put himself in line for a shot at unified IBF, WBA ‘super’ and WBO titlist, Oleksandr Usyk.
Amanda Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) headed the undercard, and the Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican widely outscored Sarah Mahfoud (11-1, 3 KOs) to add the IBF featherweight title to her WBC, WBO and IBO belts.
Two scores of 97-93 and a third at 99-92 ensured ’The Real Deal’ secured further gold.
Cacace secures IBO crown
Anthony Cacace (20-1, 7 KOs) won the IBO super featherweight title, as he took a split decision win against Italy’s Michael Magnesi (20-1, 13 KOs).
It was an absorbing affair, and scores of 117-111 and 116-112 in Cacace’s favour overruled a 116-112 verdict for Magnesi.
Essuman defends British title outright
Ekow Essuman (18-0, 7 KOs) took the Lonsdale Belt outright, and defended his Commonwealth welterweight title, as he won a unanimous verdict against Samuel Antwi (14-2, 6 KOs).
Scores of 117-112, 116-113 and 115-114 took the victory for the Nottingham-based fighter.
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Nathan Heaney again brought a strong following from Stoke-on-Trent, but his fight with Jack Flatley (19-3-1, 4 KOs) was curtailed during the fifth round due to a horrendous cut sustained by Heaney.
Heaney (16-0, 6 KOs) retained his IBO International middleweight title, as he took a technical decision win on the cards. Two scores of 49-46, and a third at 50-45 ensured his fans went home went home happy.
Mark Heffron (29-2-1, 23 KOs) ticked over, and the British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion halted Martin Ezequiel Bulacio (10-7, 7 KOs) inside a round.
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Raven Chapman (4-0, 2 KOs) claimed the vacant WBC International featherweight title, as she comfortably outscored Jorgelina Guanini (10-5-2, 1 KO) over eight rounds.
Scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 saw ‘The Omen’ take her first professional belt.
James Heneghan (8-0, 1 KO) scored a first stoppage win of his career, as he won in the fifth round against Rod Douglas Jr (3-5) at middleweight, and at lightweight, Callum Thompson (5-0, 1 KO) took a points win against Delmar Thomas (5-3, 2 KOs).
Amaar Akbar (4-0) also won on points against Karlo Wallace (0-3) at super lightweight.
At cruiserweight, Tommy Fletcher (2-0, 2 KOs) scored his second professional win with a fourth round stoppage over Toni Visic (20-34-2, 5 KOs).