Joseph Parker Gets Off The Mat Twice To Defeat Zhilei Zhang

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Posted on 03/08/2024

By: Sean Crose

The popular 26-1-1 heavyweight Zhilei Zhang squared off against former world titlist Joseph Parker, 34-3 in Saudi Arabia Friday night. The scheduled twelve round affair was the co-main of the much anticipated Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou throwdown. Zhang probed with his southpaw jab in the first. Parker, on the other hand, played it rather safe in the opening chapter of the fight. Parker landed a hard body shot in the second while Zhang looked for an opening. Parker was able to land again – this time with a left – in the final minute of the round.

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In the third, Zhang found his mark, as he dropped Parker with a powerful straight left. Parker got up right away, but the point was clear…Zhang could get to his man. Indeed, he hurt Parker again just before the bell rang to end the round. Parker, to his credit, hung in there in the fourth and was even able to land well himself. The fifth was rather interesting, with each man tossing some heavy leather. The sixth was somewhat slow paced, but Parker showed he was able to land on his man with regularity. In the seventh, it looked as if Zhang might have been getting gassed.

Parker landed hard on Zhang early on in the eighth, but Zhang took the shot well. Sure enough, later in the round, Zhang put Parker back on the mat. Parker got up again, though, and was once again able to survive the round. Sure enough, the New Zealander ended the round firing hard. Zhang appeared to be strangely patient in the ninth, as he had recently dropped and hurt his opponent in the previous round. Indeed, he may well have been out of gas. Parker remained the more active of the two fighters in the tenth.

Simply put, Parker outboxed his man in the eleventh. And, sure enough, Zhang didn’t do much in the twelfth. Parker meanwhile remained crisp and energetic. The decision ended up going Parker’s way via decision.

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