Joe Joyce made a “serious statement” in the heavyweight division with an imperious “granite jaw” helping to seal a win over a nobly resilient Joseph Parker.
A jaw-dropping fight finally came to an end in the eleventh round when Parker’s stunning defense ended with a stunning left hand knockout from Joyce.
Joyce, 37, is now the interim WBO world heavyweight champion, and with an unbeaten record, his best win of the rest has put him among the elite.
Both fighters fought like warriors as they ate punch after punch, but Joyce looked unfazed as Parker’s best efforts barely left a dent.
England’s Joyce, now 15-0 in his short career, seemed to have won the fight early on with New Zealand’s Parker stumbling in the third round.
“Parker looks like he’s been gassed before,” said talkSPORT’s Spencer Oliver, but somehow he fought back.
Parker’s corner looked concerned, as did good friend Tyson Fury and father John watching, but the 30-year-old junior fighter somehow pulled himself together and got a second wind in the fifth round.
But despite a number of brilliant strikes from Parker, Joyce was barely flustered which left the talkSPORT pundit team stunned.
Hearn sues Jake Paul over ‘false and baseless allegations’ about ‘paid’ judge – reports
Both Joyce and Parker weigh in at their career-heavy heads ahead of the showdown
Haye predicts big knockout after Joyce and Parker’s heaviest weigh-in they’ve ever been
Joyce vs Parker LIVE: Confirmed start time, talkSPORT coverage and how to follow
Fury asks thousands of fans to sing a message to AJ as the fight is not confirmed
Fury threatens to ‘choke’ Usyk after Ukrainian accuses him of being scared
Oliver asked, “Is he about to declare that he’s imperious at huge punches and a serious force in the heavyweight division?”
“Parker lands almighty punches here, Joyce’s granite jawbone is made of supernatural things,” added Andy Clarke.
Adam Catterall continued: “Do we see a breach in Joyce? There was a moment when I thought Parker was going to break his wrist hitting Joyce, that’s huge.
“That’s what you call a real slobberknocker, they just got it, that’s what you get when you put the best against the best.”
Parker was bloodied but fought back, and the two titans kept pushing despite their defenses being breached again and again.
Parker would have been disheartened to see his opponent barely bruised, and finally in the eleventh he finally crashed.
“One of the best heavyweight fights you’ll ever see,” Fury said in the aftermath. “Thanks to both of them, they both did very very well, the best man won on the night.”
When asked if he would face Joyce: ‘Yes, no problem,’ said Fury, but after this appearance, Joyce may not have problems against some members of the heavyweight elite. .
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT fan zone.
In a huge covered room under the arches of Waterloo in London, we will bring you live screenings of every World Cup match.
There will be Q&A with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live shows and plenty of food and drink will be on offer too.
Come and have the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a free pint – with tickets for the England and Wales group stage matches on sale now HERE!