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Should Joseph Parker retire?

Image: Should Joseph Parker retire?

By Adam Baskin: Joseph Parker was shockingly taken the full 10 round distance last Saturday night by former cruiserweight Jack Massey at AO Arena in Manchester, England.

Parker’s performance was disappointing as a whole because most of the top heavyweights in the division would have easily overpowered and knocked out the smallish Massey, but he couldn’t do it. What was evident in the fight was Parker’s lack of a killer instinct.

It seemed like Parker was taking it easy on Massey during the frequent clinches that the British fighter initiated, allowing the former cruiserweight to spoil without clubbing him with point-blank shots to the head to make him stop holding.

At this point, Parker should dump his trainer and go with someone new to try and help him save what’s left of his career because it’s clearly not working with whatever his current coach is doing with him.

The former WBO heavyweight champion Parker’s inability to stop Massey (20-2, 11 KOs), who was making his debut in the division, showed that he’s lost something from his game that he won’t get back.

Parker (31-3, 21 KOs) defeated Massey by the scores of 96-93, 97-92, and 97-93.  Those scores showed that the fight was a lot closer than you would have liked to have seen from Parker, who looked faded in the second half of the fight and lost the aggressiveness that he’d shown early on.

The way Parker fought, he would have lost to many of the top 10 in the division and likely even to cruiserweight like Lawrence Okolie, Mairis Briedis, Richard Riakporhe, and Jai Opetaia.

Parker is obviously not going to retire because he’s still making money as an undercard fighter, but it’s fair to say that his days as a headliner are over unless he magically turns things around.

If Parker is going to rejuvenate his sinking career, he’s going to need to concentrate on fighting better opposition because facing unknown guys like Massey is a waste of his time. Parker isn’t going to improve as a fighter facing weaker opposition to pad his record because he’s been in the game too long to be fighting these kinds of ham & eggers.

As a cruiserweight, Massey was a decent fighter, narrowly losing a 12 round unanimous decision to Richard Riakporhe. Still, Massey didn’t show the kind of ability that was needed for him to capture a world title in that weight class.

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