Joseph Parker took what may have been a final step toward a shot at the IBF world heavyweight title held by Anthony Joshua, knocking out veteran Solomon Haumono at 1:35 of the fourth round today in New Zealand.
Parker (20-0, 17 KO) poked his jab out in the first couple of rounds, feeling out what Haumono (24-3-2, 21 KO) might be looking to accomplish. The 40-year-old Haumono was coming forward all the time, showing no fear of Parker, but also not finding the right range to land. When he did get in close, Parker quickly tied him up and forced a break.
In the third round, Parker started to look more comfortable, unleashing more power shots behind the jab, and at times leading with them. He was clipping Haumono, but not landing much flush. But midway through the fourth, he did land flush, cracking Haumono with a right hand uppercut that put him on the canvas.
Haumono tried to take the count for as long as he could, but referee Bruce McTavish ruled that he had reached a count of 10 before Haumono rose from his knee. The replay showed that it was very close, at least, and Haumono didn’t argue with the call, really.
Parker, the IBF mandatory challenger thanks to his win earlier this year over Carlos Takam, now has Joshua (17-0, 17 KO) in his sights. That meeting between two big, charismatic, powerful young heavyweights will be big money in the United Kingdom if and when it happens.