Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr will each get their first world title shot today in Auckland, New Zealand, as the two undefeated fighters meet for the vacated WBO heavyweight championship.
Live coverage will air on BoxNation in the United Kingdom beginning at 3 am ET. Those in Australia can watch on FOX, and those in New Zealand can watch on Sky Arena pay-per-view.
Parker (21-0, 18 KO) is the favorite here, partially because he’s at home, but Ruiz (29-0, 19 KO) is a talented boxer. It’s a matchup where either guy’s style could conceivably give the other fights.
The undercard will feature welterweight prospect Jeff Horn (15-0, 10 KO) in a 10-round fight against veteran Ali Funeka (39-5-3, 31 KO), plus super bantamweight Isaac Dogboe (15-0, 9 KO) taking on Julian Aristule (32-6, 16 KO), in addition to several other fights.
Join us as we kick off a long day of live coverage!
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Joseph Parker def. Andy Ruiz Jr by majority decision (114-114, 115-113, 115-113)
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ROUND BY ROUND
JOSEPH PARKER vs ANDY RUIZ JR
Round 1: Cagey first round, Ruiz moving forward, Parker keeping distance. Both showing sharp jabs. Both landed a good right hand. Ruiz 10-9
Round 2: Ruiz with a good shot early in the round. Parker throwing some good shots at distance this round, landing some to the body. Ruiz's jab to the body setting things up. Ruiz suddenly cuts loose in the last minute, landing some good power shots and showing off his hand speed. Ruiz 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Ruiz is making Parker uncomfortable in there, as far as body language goes. Ruiz busier and outfighting Parker right now. He's in his head a little bit. We'll see if he can keep that up. Ruiz 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Some adjustments from Parker this round, as he stays at range, clinches when Ruiz gets closer, and keeps Ruiz from throwing punches. Could also be Ruiz looking to save some gas, but either way, a Parker round. Parker 10-9, Ruiz 39-37
Round 5: another solid round for the home fighter, and he's fully back in this fight if there was any thought of him digging an early hole. We've got an interesting fight here. Not exciting, necessarily, but has been tactically interesting. Parker 10-9, Ruiz 48-47
Round 6: Joseph Parker's jab has really started making a difference, and though Ruiz opens up a bit more again this round, and wins a nice little exchange, it's Parker busier and doing more work. Parker 10-9, 57-57
Round 7: More than I thought Ruiz had gotten into Parker's head earlier, I think Parker's in Ruiz's now. Ruiz hasn't adjusted to the adjustments that Parker made, and now he's got a scrape on the side of his head, too. Parker fighting comfortably now. Parker 10-9, 67-66
Round 8: A round Ruiz desperately needs to stem the tide, and I think he edged it. Both guys legs are slowing, but Ruiz got his hands moving a bit more in this frame. Ruiz 10-9, 76-76
Round 9: Parker takes this one for me. Slow round, he did a bit more, enough to make it fairly clear, in my view. This fight has settled into a rhythm and while it's not awful, neither man is exactly showing great class. Parker 10-9, 86-85
Round 10: I liked Ruiz this round, nicking it at the very end. When he throws, he lands, but he's been a bit methodical and that might be the real difference. Still, I have him even. Ruiz 10-9, 95-95
Round 11: Like Ruiz again this round, but the showiest shot was landed by Parker. I suspect Parker's ahead enough on the cards to win, but I have it up for grabs. Ruiz 10-9, 105-104
Round 12: I go to Parker here, and I have it even. A handful of swing rounds. I expect wide scores. Parker 10-9, 114-114