Monday, 25 September 2017 16:00

Hughie Fury didn't deserve title but Joseph Parker is not in Anthony Joshua's league

Written by Daily Mail
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After one of the dullest heavyweight title fights in memory, one camp screamed corruption while the other called for Anthony Joshua. It is hard to figure out which party was more ill-advised.

Indeed, his promoter Mick Hennessy claimed there were 'shades of Ali' in his majority-decision defeat, which raised eyebrows and dropped a few jaws.

It is true that Fury, the cousin of Tyson, showed some impressive footwork, but the 23-year-old's approach was too negative, his jab too inaccurate and ineffective.

Parker, the WBO champion, described it as 'pitter-patter' on the occasions it landed, but far too often it came up short, which called into question some of the outrage at the result.

The card of Rocky Young that scored it 114-114 was closest to the mark, certainly closer than those of Terry O'Connor and John Madfis, who gave it to Parker by the huge margin of 118-110.

That was too wide, but an overall verdict in favour of Parker was hardly the grounds for accusations of corruption.

For Sportsmail's part, Parker had it by three rounds, though the New Zealander was particularly underwhelming. The 24-0 fighter lunged in wildly all night and only landed one major punch, in the 12th.

Fury's movement made him miss often, but what he offered in return was not enough to win the heavyweight world title. Those belts are hard to win, let alone on the back foot with jabs that land sporadically.

And yet in the eyes of Fury's team, he did more than enough as it was. Hennessy promised to lodge a formal appeal against the result, saying: 'We are going to get our lawyers behind it.

'I thought that was disgraceful. You do not see masterclasses by 23-year-olds like that. The footwork, gliding around that ring, touching him. It was shades of Ali the way he was moving. Why can't that be appreciated?'

Fury certainly showed enough class in his footwork to suggest he can compete at world level again, perhaps with the benefit of less rust in his punching, given he was out of the ring for 17 months before this fight.

He was devastated by the result, saying: 'They've ruined people's lives. I don't think the scoring was right. I thought I won the fight easy.'

For Parker, all roads appear to lead to Joshua, the IBF and WBA champion. His team have already been in talks with Eddie Hearn over a unification next summer, most likely at Wembley in July.

Their plan is an outing before the end of this year, possibly in Japan, before a tilt at the winner of David Haye's rematch with Tony Bellew. If that is all negotiated he would land the big one, but on the basis of this fight it would be a comfortable night for Britain's heavyweight star.

Parker said: 'This fight was a good way to establish ourselves in Britain and now I am looking forward to having those big fights against Joshua, Bellew, Haye, Dillian Whyte. All fighters have weaknesses.

'I will show you Joshua's when I fight him. I have better movement. He has good power and is a good champion but I feel I can bring out the weaknesses.'

It might have been the most ambitious claim of the night.

Meanwhile, Luke Campbell fell agonisingly short in his bid to win the WBA lightweight world title, suffering a split-decision defeat by Jorge Linares.

Campbell was down in the second but fought superbly in going the distance. He was given the verdict on one card by 115-113 but lost on the other two, 115-112 and 114-113. It was the second defeat of his career.

'He's a great champion but I thought I outclassed him,' said Campbell.

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