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Parker beats Ruiz in a close fight!

Joseph Parker


By Jim Dower: Fighting in front of large crowd in his own hometown, unbeaten Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) won a highly controversial 12 round majority decision victory over previously unbeaten Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-1, 19 KOs) to capture the vacant WBO heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

The judges gave the 24-year-old Parker the win by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 11 rounds to 1 in favor of the 27-year-old Ruiz Jr. It was impossible to give the victory for Parker, because he was missing punches all night long and mainly only throwing jabs. Even in throwing jabs, Parker still couldn’t land them. Parker was landing almost none of his power shots. They were missing over and over again, which is strange because the 6’4” Parker had a two inch height and reach advantage over the 6’2” Ruiz Jr.

I had Ruiz Jr. CLEARLY winning the first five rounds. Parker fought better in the 6th, but Ruiz Jr. was the one that finished strong in the last minute of the round. I gave the round to Ruiz Jr. because he was landing the better shots.

Ruiz Jr. got the better of Parker in the 7th in dominating the two exchanges they had in the round. Other than the exchanges, Ruiz Jr. was landing his jab frequently. As usual, Parker’s jab was coming up short in hitting only air. It was pretty sad to see with a fighter his height unable to land a simple jab. Parker looked like a novice with his ability to land his jabs.

Round eight was a close one. However, Ruiz Jr. came on strong in the last minute to take the round on my scorecard. He nailed Parker two solid right hands, a head-snapping jab and a big left-right combination in the final minute to take the round.


Parker’s best round of the fight came in the 9th, when he landed some nice power shots in the final minute of the round. Ruiz Jr. was the better fighter in the first two minutes of the round in nailing Parker repeatedly with jabs to the head. Parker’s jabs missed.

In the 10th, Parker fought well in the first half of the round in landing some power shots and jabs. Never the less, Ruiz Jr. came on strong in the last part of the round to win it. Parker did a lot of clinching in that round. Each time Ruiz Jr. would get close, Parker would grab him.

Ruiz Jr. was the far better fighter in the 11th and 12th rounds in landing constant shots to the head and body of Parker. There was no question in my mind who won those rounds. Those were easy rounds to score due to Ruiz Jr. being the only one landing his shots with any regularity. Parker was missing and just being busy.

You’ve got to feel more than a little sorry for Ruiz Jr. He probably needed a knockout in order to win the fight. With Ruiz Jr. fighting in front of Parker’s hometown fans, it put him in a situation where he needed to not only win rounds, but REALLY win rounds by battering Parker. It was impossible for Ruiz Jr. to do that, because Parker was on his bike most of the time in moving around the ring and not throwing punches. However, Ruiz Jr. was the one pushing the fight in all the rounds. He was the one throwing and landing his power shots and jabs.

Parker did fight a little better in the last 6 rounds of the fight, but not much better. Parker threw more punches in the second half of the contest, but he was still missing almost all of his shots. Ruiz Jr. got the better of Parker in every exchange in the fight except for one. The reason for that is because Ruiz ‘s hand speed and his counter punching ability were far superior to that or Parker.

The referee Tony Weeks failed to address Parker’s habit of holding his left arm out in front of him to keep Ruiz Jr. from getting at him. This is the same thing former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko likes to do in his fights to keep shorter fighters from getting near enough to land their shots. The referee should have warned and penalized Parker for this practice in the fight.

Parker said this after the fight to Fight News about his win over Ruiz Jr:

“I felt when I was using my jab everything flowed well,” said Parker. “When I didn’t use it I allowed him to close the gap and throw punches.”

I’m not sure what Parker is talking about, because he wasn’t able to land his jabs in the fight at all. He was missing with it over and over again. I think one of the reasons for Parker missing with his jabs is because he appeared timid and unwilling to stand still long enough for him to land it. Parker was short-arming his jab for fear of getting hit with Ruiz’s left hook, right hands to the hand and jabs to the body. When Parker would extend on his jabs in the proper manner, Ruiz Jr. would quickly nail him with a counter shot. This caused Parker to throw his jab short and with his head leaning backwards to try and keep from getting hit. When you throw a punch like that, you’re not going to land with a great frequency, which is what we saw tonight.

“I thought I was controlling the fight with the jab. But I think he had the advantage in that I fought in his hometown,” said Ruiz Jr.

All in all, it was a terrible performance from Parker. If you’re going to win a fight, you don’t want to win it like that. It looked to me like Parker won a hometown decision. Based off how Parker looked in this fight, I think he’ll be destroyed by IBF champion Anthony Joshua or David Haye. Parker should try and get a fight against Joshua as quickly as possible, because I can’t see him getting past Haye if that fight happens. The talent just isn’t there for Parker. He’s better off cashing out against Joshua if he can remain the World Boxing Organization champion long enough to get a unification fight against him. If you put Parker in with a good heavyweight right now like Haye, Kubrat Pulev or Jarrell Miller, it would be bad news for him. Those guys have too much boxing skills, punching power and talent for someone like Parker to deal with.

Other results from New Zealand:

Jeff Horn W TKO 6 Ali Funeka
Isaac Dogboe TKO 7 Julian Aristile
Junior Fa W KO 3 Pablo Magrini
John Parker W 4 Ash McConville
Brown Buttabean W TKO 4 Che Barlow


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