It wasn’t pretty, and he had to survive a late charge, but Dillian Whyte got the job done today in London, outpointing Joseph Parker in a grueling, entertaining, rough heavyweight main event.
Whyte (24-1, 17 KO) scored a second round knockdown, but it was controversial to say the least, with it looking to come more from a headbutt than the grazing shot that landed after. In the ninth round, he dropped Parker (24-2, 18 KO) for real, scoring a brutal left hook that put the former WBO titleholder on the canvas.
Whyte was allowed to get away with a lot of roughhouse tactics throughout the fight, which frustrated and even seemed to demoralize Parker by the time he was put down in the ninth. But Parker got up, and after getting out of the round, started putting some things together against the tired Whyte.
Parker probably won the 10th round, and definitely won the 11th, when he hurt Whyte late in the round and had him up against it before the bell came. Then he hurt Whyte again early in the 12th round. To Whyte’s credit, he held on and survived that, but he did finally go down with 27 seconds left in the fight.
Sadly for Parker, Whyte got up, and was able to survive the final frame. It was too little, too late, but a valiant charge nonetheless.
When it was over, the score cards were 113-112, 114-111, and 115-110, all for Whyte, who now has himself in line for a 2019 second shot at Anthony Joshua, perhaps, or a possible fight with Deontay Wilder.
On the undercard, heavyweight Dereck Chisora (29-8, 21 KO) stopped Carlos Takam (35-5-1, 27 KO) in the eight round, dropping Takam two times. And Katie Taylor improved to 10-0 (5 KO), retaining her IBF and WBA lightweight titles with a TKO-3 win over Kimberly Connor (13-4-2, 5 KO). Conor Benn, Joshua Buatsi, Anthony Fowler, Frank Buglioni, and David Allen also won on the undercard.