Joseph Parker made a successful first defense of his WBO heavyweight title earlier today in Manukau City, New Zealand, defeating late replacement opponent Razvan Cojanu via unanimous decision.
Parker (23-0, 18 KO) won on scores of 117-110, 117-110, and 119-108, with Cojanu (16-3, 9 KO) deducted a point in the fourth round for pushing Parker’s head down in clinches.
Originally slated to face Hughie Fury, who pulled out due to injury, the 25-year-old Parker didn’t exactly set the world on fire with this defense, both due to a substandard challenger and the fact that he didn’t score a stoppage. Cojanu made the latter difficult with his size and approach to the fight, and Parker wasn’t able to force the issue.
But a win is a win, and there’s certainly no debate about the outcome, as there was when Parker won the vacant belt via majority decision last December against Andy Ruiz Jr.
From here, Parker could reschedule with Hughie Fury, or he could look for a unification bout with either WBA/IBF titleholder Anthony Joshua, or WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder. Or he could go in an entirely different direction. He’s going to draw crowds and make money at home, and it’s up to his and his team’s ambition as to whether or not he’ll make a big leap.