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Joseph Parker dominates Deontay Wilder over 12 rounds: Upset dashes hopes for Joshua vs Wilder fight

Joseph Parker won easily over Deontay Wilder in Riyadh.

Deontay Wilder vs Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker won easily over Deontay Wilder in Riyadh
Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Joseph Parker didn’t just beat Deontay Wilder today in Saudi Arabia, he did so with relative ease.

Parker scored a big upset on scores of 118-111, 118-110, and 120-108 in Riyadh, effectively killing plans for a March fight between Wilder and Anthony Joshua.

Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 120-108 for Parker.

Parker (34-3, 23 KO) didn’t do anything particularly special in terms of his approach, simply staying out of the range of Wilder’s devastating power, and Wilder assisted that by waiting and waiting for something he could react to, sort of like we saw in his rematch with Luis Ortiz years ago.

This time, it just never came, and it has to be said, too, that the 38-year-old Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KO) looked a little shy pulling the trigger, never worked to set anything up, didn’t seem as quick as he used to be, and had brutally awful timing.

Some credit for how this turned out absolutely goes to Parker and trainer Andy Lee and the rest of their team, without question, but some of the blame has to be placed squarely on Wilder, who simply did not execute something you could even really call a game plan.

Despite the incredibly obvious nature of the result, Wilder still reacted to the scores being read as if he were surprised.

“I want to say respect to Wilder, he’s a dangerous fighter,” Parker said. “Tough fight, but we trained very hard for this. We were purely focused and had great momentum. Everyone had other plans, but this is God’s plan. I stayed calm, stayed relaxed, switched on for every second of every round. We got the win. Merry Christmas to us.”

“I had to be aware at all times,” Parker added. “He did catch me a few times on the guard, and I’ll tell you this, it’s a very hard right hand. If he landed clean, it would have been different, but today was my day. This is massive. This is the toughest opponent I’ve faced.”

“My timing was off a little bit. Big ups to Joseph, he did a great job avoiding a lot of my punches tonight. We make no excuses,” Wilder said. “We did what we did and we move on to the next. We live to see another day, and that’s what it’s all about. Ready to go home to my children and love all over them.”

“He did a good job avoiding and ducking and stuff like that. I did feel like I had the upper-hand, but things happen. You move on to the next thing,” he added.

Asked if he was distracted by the Joshua talk, Wilder said, “Just a little bit. There was a lot of talk about different things, but we make no excuses tonight.”

Wilder said he will “see” about continuing his career after this, not sounding entirely convincing about being “back.”

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