Tony Bellew says Joseph Parker is washed up as a heavyweight
By Allan Fox: Tony Bellew believes that former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker won’t be able to return to the form that he had years ago in his pro career after watching him labor to a controversial 12 round split decision over Dereck Chisora last Saturday night.
Bellew disagreed with the decision, and he doesn’t believe Parker has the ability to win another world title at this stage in his nine-year professional career. The way Parker ran from Chisora is completely out of character to how he used to fight.
If this is the end of Parker’s career, he’s done alright in making a lot of money. According to Sportingfree, Parker’s estimated net worth is $5 million. That’s obviously more than enough for Parker to retire on if this is the end for him.
In getting dropped by an exhausted 37-year-old Chisora in the second round, Parker (29-2, 21 KOs) looked like the shadow of the fighter he was in his early 20s.
“He’s not a bad fighter, but no,” said Bellew to Sky Sports in talking about Parker not being able to recapture a world title.
“I think his heavyweight champion days are long gone. I don’t think he’s the fighter that he was.
“Every dog has his day,” Bellew continued. “I know that as well as anyone. I wish tomorrow I could come back myself, but I don’t think he can reach those dizzy heights again now,” Tony said about Parker.
The heights that Bellew is talking about are Parker’s fights against Andy Ruiz Jr, Carlos Takam, Anthony Joshua, and Dillian Whyte.
The fight against Whyte in 2018 appears to have taken something out of Parker, as he’s not looked like the same guy ever since. Parker took a lot of heavy shots in the Whyte fight in the process of losing a 12 round decision.
Since Parker’s loss to Whyte, he’s fought these fighters:
- Alex Leapai
- Derek Chisora
- Junior Fa
- Shawndell Winters
- Alexander Flores
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says he plans to set up a rematch between Chisora and Parker. Hearn promotes both heavyweights, but it’s not the type of fight from which either guy can move on from.
Parker will likely be in demand by other heavyweights, but it would be a bad idea for him to take on someone like Andy Ruiz Jr, Deontay Wilder, or Dillian Whyte.
If Parker doesn’t show improvement in his next fight, be it Chisora or whoever, he needs to consider hanging up his gloves.
Although Parker is only 29, he looks older, and he’s not fighting at the level he once did. He’s not as muscular-looking as he was in his early 20s, and he doesn’t go on the attack like he did when he was younger.
Parker was given an unpopular decision by the scores 115-113, 116-111 for Parker, and 115-113 for Chisora. What’s disappointing is that Parker was supposed to be better with his new trainer Andy Lee, who he hoped would make him more aggressive.
We didn’t see that, though. Parker was running from a totally exhausted Chisora all night long when he should have been able to destroy him. Chisora fought like a fighter in his 50s in need of an oxygen tank.
This was easily the worst Chisora has ever looked, which is why it was so dire to see Parker unable to do anything against him in the first five rounds. Parker looked totally frightened of Chisora.
For the New Zealander Parker, this was his second consecutive performance in which he looked washed up as a fighter. In Parker’s previous fight against Junior Fa last February, he struggled to muster up any offense against the 260-lb fighter.
Fa was unimpressive as well, and Parker should have been able to wipe him out if he had still had it in him.
“I think he had his moment, and as soon as the levels stepped up in competition, and the fitness level of the opponents that he’s facing got better, it will show,” said Bellew about Parker.
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