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Joseph Parker knocked out Solomon Haumono on Thursday, July 21, at the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand. With that victory, Parker moved one step closer to a match with IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. After the match, Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry hinted that the details of Parker’s next fight, presumably against Joshua, would be revealed on Tuesday.

Parker ended the match near the midpoint of the fourth stanza with a crisp upper-cut. Haumono’s chief second Justin Fortune protested the stoppage on the grounds that his fighter was the victim of a fast count, but it’s doubtful that Haumono could have reversed the tide if the bout had continued. Although there was some swelling around Parker’s eyes, Haumono was already exhibiting signs of fatigue.

Joseph Parker Looks Toward Anthony Joshua

The 24-year-old Parker, now 20-0 (17 KOs), and the 40-year-old Haumono (24-3-2) had a lot in common. Both were born in Auckland, New Zealand. Parker has remained a kiwi, although for a time he lived in Las Vegas, but Haumono, a former professional rugby player, found a new home in Sydney, Australia. That imbued their match with a bit of a regional bragging rights feel, an aura accentuated by the fact that Parker is of Somoan descent and Haumono is Tongan. Despite their geographical proximity, there has been a longstanding rivalry between the two Polynesian societies which do not share a common indigenous language.

The IBF ordained Joseph Parker the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s title even before this bout was made. Parker acquired that designation on the strength of his 12-round decision over Carlos Takam on May 21. But while that victory was a great career-booster, it did little to improve his stature in the court of public opinion. Parker vs. Takam was an uneventful fight in which both men tired in the late rounds. Parker’s defense left room for improvement and Wednesday’s showing in Christchurch gave evidence that this element of his game remains a work in progress.

Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry, best known for his work with David Tua, is the most prominent boxing trainer in New Zealand, as was his father before him. According to Barry, Joseph Parker doesn’t punch as hard as Tua, but has a stronger work ethic and is a more well-rounded boxer with faster hands. The reality, however, is that Barry has been reluctant to match Parker with a good heavyweight in the prime of his career. Carlos Takam, his strongest opponent, was on the downside at 35. Previous opponents include Sherman Williams (age 42), Frans Botha (age 44) and Kali Meehan (age 45).

In the chief undercard bout, heavyweight Izuagbe Ugonoh, who has been Joseph Parker’s chief sparring partner, advanced to 16-0 (13) with a fourth-round stoppage of 36-year-old Ricardo Ramirez of Argentina. The 29-year-old, 6’5” Ugonoh, born and raised in Poland, is an interesting prospect. He too is handled by Kevin Barry.

Check out the latest boxing rankings at The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

Joseph Parker Looks Toward Anthony Joshua

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