Joseph Parker eked out a split decision win over Derek Chisora on Saturday night in Manchester, but Dillian Whyte branded the result a ‘robbery’.
The heavyweight slugfest proved entertaining and difficult to score at times, but many weren’t happy with the end result.
The fight began with a knockdown inside ten seconds as an overhand right from Chisora floored Parker straight away.
The stunned New Zealander quickly recovered to his feet and then found himself holding on for dear life, but he was not badly hurt and made it through the opening round.
Chisora stayed on the front foot in round two and continued his campaign of relentless agression.
Parker was caught by another hard right hand at the start of the third, but battled back and had success of his own later in the session.
Round four was scrappy. Parker caught Chisora with short chopping shots on the inside, but the veteran replied by pummelling his body.
As they came up to the halfway point, the action remained rough and rugged.
Parker looked to finally be adapting to the pace Chisora had set and had a better round in the sixth.
Entering the second half, the Brit was breathing heavy in his corner.
In round eight, he again put a lot of energy into forcing the New Zealander to back up, but received a taste of his own medicine in a brutal exchange.
Chisora slowed in the ninth, giving Parker an opportunity to box and move more effectively.
Coming into the last three rounds, the contest seemed close.
The 37-year-old attempted to revisit the forceful tactics he’d employed earlier on, but was picked off at times by the younger, fresher man.
In the final round, Chisora emptied the tank completely before Parker returned fire throwing bombs of his own.
There was no consensus of a definitive winner when the bell rang.
The judges’ scorecards were read out and declared Parker the winner by split decision – 115-113 Chisora, 116-111 Parker, 115-113 Parker.
Parker reacted: “It was a tough fight, I got caught right at the beginning.
“I just had to dig deep and stay focussed. He threw big bombs and landed a lot.
“I feel like the boxing skills [made the difference], but it was a very close fight.”
Chisora replied: “I’m getting upset now. It’s difficult because I train hard, I fight, I put the pressure on, I bring everything, and this is the treatment I get from boxing.
“My last fight was the same thing again, this fight was the same thing again.
“I think they don’t like me, it’s just disappointing. I can’t get upset because it’s just horrible.
“I put it all in there, this is the result I get.
“This is just unbelievable. Most people [though] I won the fight, even his coach Andy Lee said I won the fight!
“But you know what? I won’t let them slow me down. No way. I will go again.”
Chisora’s old rival Whyte added on social media: “Boxing is f up Derek Chisora won that fight by at least two rounds #robbery.”