Joseph Parker powers to comfortable victory
New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker unleashed all of his speed and power to secure a third round knock out win over American Keith Thompson in the United States today.
The 22-year-old relentlessly stalked Thompson and took him to the canvas early in the third round with an uppercut and finished him off soon after with a brutal flurry at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem on the outskirts of Philadelphia.
The official time was 2m 41s into round three.
The win lifts Parker's record to 10 consecutive wins as a professional, nine of them by knockout.
The result, on a fight scheduled for just six rounds against a lowly-rated opponent, won't do much for his No 15 ranking with the WBO, but it will certainly have helped his profile on the crucial American market with the fight televised live by broadcast giant NBC.
Parker's handlers were demanding an impressive knockout today and he duly delivered.
Using his trademark speed and power, along with his economy of movement, Parker overwhelmed Thompson.
The 33-year-old Thompson is a long-term sparring partner of America's best heavyweight prospect, the unbeaten Deontay Wilder and trained with him in his preparations for this fight.
Thompson was coming off an April win against another American, Derek Walker. He hardly fired a shot, being on the back foot throughout.
Parker now sets his sights on an Auckland date with Sherman Williams from the Bahamas.
They line out on October 16 with Parker's promoters also wanting him to headline December's Fight For Life against a top 10 opponent to round out a busy and successful year.
Parker was clearly dominant from the opening bell today, whipping his jab into Thompson's body, quickly finding his range but also showing patience with his big shots.
Thompson landed a left hook to Parker's head in the second round that angered the Kiwi into unleashing a flurry of good combinations.
That continued with relentless pace in the third round with a quick finish inevitable.
Parker said he had felt a ''bit flat'' at times but was thrilled with his victory.
''I'm thankful for the win and the opportunity to fight in the United States,'' he said.
''My coach (Kevin Barry) said to take my time with my shots. It was a bit wild there at the end, I could tell he was tiring and I got the victory and that's what matters most.''