What Does Joe Joyce’s Knockout Win Over Joseph Parker Mean for Both Men? – BlackSportsOnline
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What Does Joe Joyce’s Knockout Win Over Joseph Parker Mean for Both Men?

When a bout between the United Kingdom’s Joe Joyce and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker was announced earlier this year, boxing fans were salivating at the prospect of two elite heavyweights going toe-to-toe. We’re often starved of top fights between boxers in their prime in this sport, however, when Joyce and Parker was confirmed – purists knew they could look forward to an absolute barnburner. For those who had access to betting offers, Joyce entered the match-up as the odds-on favourite.

What added to the interest was the enormous opportunities on the horizon for the winner. Joyce was coming off impressive victories over promotional stablemate Daniel Dubois, Carlos Takam and Christian Hammer – and if he could secure a win over a former WBO heavyweight champion in Parker – it would immediately catapult him into world title contention. Not only would a triumph be important for Joyce so that he could raise his profile globally, but it was also equally as crucial as he couldn’t afford a setback at this point in his career.

Joyce started his professional campaign quite late, debuting in 2017 at the age of 32 – after a successful career at the amateur level which saw him win bronze at the World Championships, gold at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. Known for his unorthodox style and crisp jab, Joyce made noise on the domestic stage with an upset victory over up-and-coming prospect Dubois via stoppage in 2020.

Fans and pundits of the sport sat up and began to take notice of the London-native from that moment on – and it provided further proof that he was a dark horse in what is a stacked heavyweight division. While his win over Dubois was impressive, he would need another notable victory over an opponent of Parker’s calibre to legitimise his resume. 

The former world champion Parker was in exceptional form leading up to his fight with Joyce, securing emphatic wins over ranked opponents Junior Fa and Derek Chisora en route to a 30-2 record. His most recent win over Chisora was particularly impressive, as his aggressive approach was a far cry from the slick boxer we were previously accustomed to.

His newfound style was in large part thanks to his new trainer Andy Lee, who took the reins after Parker and his long-time coach Kevin Barry parted ways in October of 2019. Parker began to train out of Tyson Fury’s gym in Morecambe, with the aim of becoming a two-time world champion front of mind. If Parker could beat a fellow decorated amateur such as Joyce, rematches and big pay-days with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte would become a real possibility.

However, first he needed to get past the man affectionately known as the “Juggernaut”. As the bell rang at the AO Arena in Manchester, Parker’s hand speed, movement and boxing IQ allowed him to gain the ascendency in the early rounds. However, in true Joyce fashion, the 37-year-old’s attrition, relentless pressure and effective jab began to weigh on Parker in the middle and late rounds.

Parker showed enormous heart to stay in the contest, however, Joyce proved too strong down the stretch and stopped Parker in the 11th round with a devastating left hook. Joyce was the first man to knock Parker out, and in doing so, put the blue-riband division on notice. After his win, Joyce called out current WBA, IBF and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk and fellow Brit and WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Joyce’s win puts him well and truly in the international spotlight – and if can secure a match-up with a big name in the heavyweight division – he is the last person you would want to count out.

For Parker, he will have to return to the drawing board and work his way back up the rankings if he is to challenge for another world title.