Parker beats Zhang, Vargas vs Ball draw, Madrimov wins title

Fighting

Joseph Parker got dropped twice, but came off the canvas both times and earned a majority decision win over Zhilei Zhang in Saudi Arabia.

Judges had the fight 113-113, 114-112, and 115-111 in Parker’s favor. Bad Left Hook had the fight 114-112 for Parker.

Parker (35-3, 23 KO) now has consecutive wins over Deontay Wilder and Zhang, two of the most feared punchers in the division, and is at a clear career peak even counting the fact that he’s a former WBO titleholder.

This win also netted him the interim WBO title that Zhang held, and Parker noted there is a contractual rematch clause, so he expects to face Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KO) in a rematch next.

Rey Vargas retained his WBC featherweight title in a draw against Nick Ball, a fight that was everything we expected it to be, basically, pitting a very tall featherweight against a very short one, with the stylistic challenges that come with that on both sides.

Ball (19-0-1, 11 KO) scored knockdowns in the eighth and 11th rounds, but he lost a lot of this fight, and possibly the entire first half of it, and fights are scored round-by-round, of course.

Judges had the fight 114-112 Vargas, 116-1110 Ball, and 113-113. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored it 113-113, which is seven rounds to Vargas and five to Ball, but the knockdowns evening the tally.

The worst card of the three is unquestionably the 116-110 card for Ball, which means judge Jun Bae Lim scored eight rounds of the fight to Ball, which is really hard to get to when you put it that way, even if “Ball won” seems like the right outcome in your mind because of the knockdowns and the fact that he fought very determined, whereas Vargas was, frankly, a little annoying to watch.

Israil Madrimov claimed the vacant WBA super welterweight title with a one-sided win over Magomed Kurbanov, stopping his opponent at 2:20 of round five. Madrimov (10-0-1, 7 KO) was in control from the opening bell in this one, as Kurbanov (25-1, 13 KO) just couldn’t get going and didn’t present much of a challenge for the Uzbek, who has now won his first world title.

Lightweight Mark Chamberlain improved to 15-0 (11 KO) with a dominant fourth round TKO win over Gavin Gwynne (17-3-1, 5 KO), who was just never in the fight. Chamberlain, 25, stepped his level up very nicely with this performance.

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