The win for the 24-year-old Parker makes him the IBF mandatory challenger to champion Anthony Joshua. Never the less, Parker is going to need to have much better stamina if he wants to beat Joshua because he looked lacking in that department tonight in his win over Takam.
The judges’ scores for the Parker-Takam fight were 116-112, 116-112, and 115-113. Those were pretty fair scores for Takam. I had Parker winning 9 rounds to 3. The only rounds I could give Takam were rounds 1, 5 and 9. Takam was simply outworked in the other rounds by Parker.
It’s not that Parker was throwing a lot of punches to win the rounds. He wasn’t throwing a lot of shots. It was that Takam was just too lazy throughout the fight by not being busy and just letting Parker win most of the rounds by doing a little bit more. Parker’s stamina looked poor, but Takam’s was far worse.
Each time Takam would appear to win a round by throwing a lot of punches, he would then do absolutely nothing in the next four rounds, as if he needed to rest from the exertion of throwing a lot of shots. Takam looked like he did not have the stamina to fight hard round after round. That’s basically the entire reason Parker won the fight. It wasn’t because he did a great job. He was just a little bit busier than Takam.
The taller 6’4” Parker used his jab to keep the shorter 6’2” Takam on the outside for most of the fight. Parker had the better hand speed of the two, and he was able to nail Takam with left-right combinations, short left hooks and jabs all night long.
In Takam’s best round of the fight, he backed Parker up constantly in round five and punished him with shots to the head and body. Up until that point in the contest, Parker had been able to dominate four of the first five rounds with his sharp combinations. However, Takam’s pressure in the 5th round had Parker looking both unnerved and very tired. Parker was clearly there to be knocked out in this round if Takam had been able to land the perfect shot. Parker backed up much of the time in the round to try and escape the heavy pressure from Takam.
It looked for the most part like Parker was on a full scale retreat through the three minutes of the round. The tide of the contest had changed in this round with Takam taking control. However, Takam failed to take advantage of the situation in the following rounds, as he fought in a lazy manner, waiting too much and not letting his hands go.
It had to have been frustrating for Takam’s corner to work with him in this fight, because he just didn’t have engine to throw the punches that he needed to for him to win. The victory was there for Takam if he had been able to fight hard for three minutes of every round, but he simply could not do it for some reason.
Takam appeared to hurt Parker in the 9th round, when he nailed him with big right hand to the head that sent a groggy-looking Parker back against the ropes covering up. Takam then flurried on Parker the remainder of the round, but he was unable to finish him off. In the next round in the 10th, Takam looked tired and lazy. He threw absolutely nothing and let Parker win the round by doing just a little bit more in the second half of the round. This was an excellent opportunity for Takam to pour it on to try and finish the depleted-looking Parker, but he just wouldn’t or couldn’t throw any punches in this round. Parker was there to be knocked out but Takam appeared to be too tired to throw shots.
You’ve got to give Parker credit for rebounding after the rounds where Takam had done well. Parker came back in each instant to retake control of the fight in the following rounds. However, Parker’s job was made easier by the fact that Takam looked tired after expending energy throwing punches. It was all Takam could do to throw a tiny handful of punches in rounds 2-4, 6-8, and 10-12. Those were rounds were Takam went to sleep and just stalked Parker without letting his hands go. Takam was just stalking without throwing punches, and he looked like a tired fighter.
I believe that Takam would have been beaten by a lot of heavyweights tonight. Parker was nothing special at all. If Takam had been in the ring with the following heavyweights, I think he would have lost even worse: Kubrat Pulev, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz, Johann Duhaupas, Alexander Povetkin, Bryant Jennings, David Haye, Andy Ruiz, Lucas Browne, Hughie Fury, Dominic Breazeale, Fred Kassi, Amir Mansour, Jermell Miller and Wladimir Klitschko. I think many of those heavyweights would have beaten Parker tonight. He looked just a little bit better than Takam. We clearly didn’t see the best in the heavyweight division in tonight’s fight between Parker and Takam. We saw two fighters with a high ranking but without the skills or the stamina to beat the best heavyweights.
Parker was weary looking from the 8th round on. If Takam had the energy to fight hard from the 8th round on, he would have clearly won the fight. But unfortunately for Takam, he looked like an old man out there, especially in the championship rounds. Takam just gave the rounds away to Parker by doing absolutely nothing. Parker was very tired himself and would crumbled if he had to deal with a high work rate and steady pressure from Takam. The pressure wasn’t there from the 35-year-old Takam, and this enabled Parker to steal the fight from him.
All in all, it was not a good performance by either man. Parker got the victory, to be sure, but he looked vulnerable the entire time. Parker didn’t handle the pressure well from Takam in the rounds where he had to deal with pressure. It makes you wonder how well Parker will deal with Anthony Joshua’s pressure, because he’s someone that is capable of fighting at a very fast pace round after round. We don’t know yet how good Joshua’s stamina is for the later rounds. However, we do know that Joshua is capable of fighting at a fast pace for seven rounds, because he proved that in his 7th round knockout win over Dillian Whyte last November. With the way that Parker looked tonight, I don’t think he would make it to the 7th round against Joshua. Once Parker gets tired against Joshua, it’ll be all over because Joshua will flurry on him until he either drops to the canvas or the referee halts the fight with him still standing. The Parker vs. Joshua fight will undoubtedly take place in the UK. Joshua gets many stoppages over there with his opponents still standing.