Saturday September 23rd at the Manchester Arena Lancashire, United Kingdom, undefeated WBO heavyweight belt holder Joseph Parker defended his title against undefeated challenger Hughie Fury on a Hennessy Sports promoted event. There was little talk leading up to this contest among mainstream boxing fans, even less efforts at promoting the card world wide by Hennessy Sports. When social media links for press conferences circled, fans found themselves looking at frozen screen shots instead of the two fighters headlining. This lack of interest and poor job of promoting this event seemed odd considering the massive attention British boxing especially IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has garnered globally.
Once the fight began it became obvious after the opening round “The fighters were going to give no more effort in the ring than Hennessey Sports did outside when promoting”. The two fighters Jospeh Parker and Hughie Fury performed in a dreadful manner, Parker the belt holder plodded forward slowly while Fury danced around jabbing from a distance. When Parker landed a shot, almost always thrown without bad intentions Hughie Fury held and waited for the referee to break them apart. At a distance Fury would get on his toes and jab, it was not a crisp jab or one that gave a feeling something exciting was about to happen, instead gave rather an inclination that Fury had decided to “Go through the motions”. When the twelve round distance expired, there was four minutes of combined action in total for Judges to base their scores on which were actually worse than the fight itself reading officially 114-114 and118-110 twice in favor of Joseph Parker who improved to 24-0 (18) Hughie Fury now stands at 20-1 (10).
This was a poor performance by both champion and challenger on the biggest stage of their careers. It did demonstrate why the abundance of world title belts continue to be boxing’s achilles heel because those who don’t know any better might actually believe this was championship boxing at its highest level. At a time when British fighters and British boxing seem to be carrying boxing overall on its back, Joseph Parker versus Hughie Fury was like adding a thousand pounds of “dead weight” on a pack mule with an injured leg.
In Undercard action
Super Lightweight– Joe Murray 22-2 (9) def. Matty Fagan 11-3 via UD 10
Bantamweight– Josh Wale 25-9-2 (12) def. Don Broadhurst 19-4-1 (4) via KO 11
BBBofC British Bantamweight title
Super Welterweight- Jimmy Kilrain Kelly 23-1 (9) def. Stiliyan Kostov 21-8 (16) via TKO 4.
Vacant WBO-Intercontinental title
Super Welterweight– Peter McDonagh 28-28-1 (3) def. Shayne Singleton 23-3-1(8) via UD 10.
Lightweight– Yusuf Safa 7-0 (4) def. Simas Volosinas 7-66 (1) via UD 6.
Middleweight– Jack Cullen 7-0 (1) def. Callum Ide 0-5-1 via TKO 2.