Joseph Parker, in his first fight under Andy Lee, recovers from knockdown to pip Chisora on points

The Kiwi began training with Lee in Dublin seven weeks ago.

Andy Lee and Joseph Parker.
Andy Lee and Joseph Parker.
Image: Dave Thompson/Matchroom

JOSEPH PARKER WAS knocked down after seven seconds of his bout against Derek Chisora but the New Zealander rallied to record a split-decision victory at the Manchester Arena.

Having been persuaded to go through with the headline fight by his mother after a row over the ring walks, Chisora looked set for one of the biggest wins of his career after landing his signature punch in the opening moments of the first round.

Parker weathered some punishing moments before finishing strongly against his tiring rival and was given the nod 116-111 and 115-113 by two of the judges, with a third scoring the contest 115-113 in favour of Chisora.

The Kiwi recently begain training under the tutelage of Limerick’s former middleweight world champion Andy Lee, uprooting to Ireland on five days’ notice for a seven-week camp in advance of tonight’s contest.

The pair embraced upon hearing the verdict, which was protested in his post-fight interview by Derek Chisora.

Lee admitted post-fight that he’d told Parker he was uncertain they had won what was a razor-tight contest, with the result ultimately splitting opinion online.

The 2004 Irish Olympian commended Chisora for his performance on the night and on his career as a whole, with both he and Parker promising the Zimbabwe-born Briton a rematch in the near future.

Parker intends to remain in Dublin to continue his work with Lee ahead of a summer outing, and will fly his family over in the coming weeks.

“I am feeling it,” Parker said afterwards. “Derek landed a lot of shots on me. I’ll probably feel it more tomorrow. The plan was to come out and box smartly and stay focused. I got caught right at the beginning. I think it was round the back of the head, I didn’t see it.

The plan was to box and move and be smart. With the guidance of Andy I was able to box. We didn’t have the longest time together. I know I needed a lot of work. I need to keep learning from Andy and practicing the things we work on in the gym.

“It was a tough fight and I got caught right at the beginning. I just had to dig deep and stay focused and follow the plan that we had in place. Swayed off a bit, but Derek is a very tough opponent. He came forward, put pressure on me from the beginning. Threw big bombs and landed a lot.

“The boxing skills won me some rounds towards the end. It was a very close fight. I thought it could go either way, and I’m very thankful and blessed to get the win today. He brought the smoke. If you want to feel it, jump in the ring with him.”

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chisora-v-parker-fight-night Parker and Lee celebrate the win. Source: Mark Robinson

Parker added that a world-title fight is “very achievable — I just have to get back to the training.

“There’s a lot of things I have to work on. I had a good plan in place. There’s still a lot I can show, I just have to keep working with Andy, and more camps ahead. We could do it next fight.”

- With reporting by Gavan Casey

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