Joseph Parker admits he came up short but is thrilled to retain his WBO belt video

PHOTOSPORT LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT Fiona Goodall/photosport.nz LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ GETTY LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ GETTY IMAGES PHOTOSPORT LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT ANDREW CORNAGA / PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT

Joseph Parker celebrates a successful world title defence with his team.

Joseph Parker throws a full-blooded right hand.

Things get heated between Joseph Parker and Razvan Cojanu.

Joseph Parker takes a shot to the face.

Razvan Cojanu proved a tougher opponent for Joseph Parker than most would've expected.

Joseph Parker strikes with Razvan Cojanu on the ropes.

Joseph Parker jabs with the left hand.

Joseph Parker throws a left hand at Razvan Cojanu.

Joseph Parker goes to the body of Romania's Razvan Cojanu.

Joseph Parker feels his way into the fight.

Joseph Parker enters the ring.

George Kambosos Jr celebrates his win over fellow Australian Qamil Balla, by unanimous decision.

The atmosphere at the Manukau Events Centre.

Undercard fight Umar Salamov with his trainer Kevin Barry.

ACT leader David Seymour, centre, with the Chow brothers.

Kiwi actor Cliff Curtis watches on.

Umar Salamov and Emil Markic both land punches.

Umar Salamov looked all class against Emil Markic.

Emil Markic, bottom left, had no answer to Parker's stablemate.

A brutal end as Tim Tszyu, right, defeats Ivana Siau.

Tim Tszyu lands a left jab.

Tim Tszyu, right, defeated Ivana Siau by TKO.

Joseph Parker relaxes watching his brother.

Jerome Pascua, right, defeated Josh Hatherley by split decision.

Joshua Hatherley, right, sports a cut above the eye.

Smiles all round after the fight.

John Parker, right, defeated Ratu Sailosi Dawai by unanimous decision.

John Parker, left, is still undefeated in a fledgling career.

John Parker takes one on the cheek from Ratu Dawai.

Younger brother John Parker gets the undercard win.

Judith Collins watches on.

Joseph Parker winks to his brother John Parker.

John Parker team photo after his win.

Jordan Tuigamala, left, was too good for Nigel Elliott.

Nigel Elliott is down for the count.

Jordan Tuigamala check on Nigel Elliott after knocking him out.

Joseph Parker's mum Sala Parker and Sir Peter Leitch (left) before the fight.

The promo ring girls.

'Sparring is different from a real fight' - Joseph checks out venue before Razvan Cojanu showdown.

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker faces off against Romania's Razvan Cojanu at the official weigh in.

Joseph Parker gave up 13kg to his opponent.

1  of  41
« Previous « Previous Next » Next »

An honest Joseph Parker feels he only achieved "60 to 70 per cent" of what he set out to do in the first defence of his WBO world heavyweight belt.

Importantly Parker still has that coveted belt after scoring a comfortable but frustrating unanimous points decision against big Romanian Razvan Cojanu in Manukau, south Auckland, on Saturday night.

Hoping to make a statement in his farewell fight before heading north to the spoils of Britain in a rapidly heating heavyweight scene, the fight often fell as flat as the problem-plagued promotion.

New Zealand's Joseph Parker corners Razvan Cojanu of Romania during his defence of the the WBO world heavyweight title.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

New Zealand's Joseph Parker corners Razvan Cojanu of Romania during his defence of the the WBO world heavyweight title.

Disappointingly the knockout blow couldn't be delivered that would have put the UK audience and his rivals on notice.

READ MORE:
Recap: Parker wins on points
Parker farewells NZ in underwhelming fight
Parker labours to points win

 

Giving away 13kg and considerable height and reach, Parker just couldn't budge a cagey but crafty Cojanu.

"Maybe 60 to 70 per cent," Parker said when asked if he had achieved what he set out to do in this performance.

"There's still a lot to improve on. But it's an exciting journey, we're here now, we've defended the belt once, we've kept it here and Samoa and we are going to defend it as many times as we can."

Parker felt his fitness and discipline were the positives to take out of this fight as he moves on to bigger markets.

Ad Feedback

"The fitness is great ... another 12 rounds ... I know i can dig deep.

"Discipline was very, very important. He was looking for me to make a mistake and stand there and trade," Parker said, saying his game plan had been to fight at a distance and off the back foot.

Parker was taunted all night by Cojanu, the WBO No 14 who showboated, looking to lure the Kiwi in.

Cojanu was also quick to use clinches to tie up Parker and had a point deducted for repeatedly pushing down Parker's head during their far too frequent tangles.

"He was saying I'm scared but I wasn't getting sucked into his trap. I'm a smarter boxer and I move and box," Parker said.

"He wanted me to stand there and exchange but I didn't allow it to happen, so I feel I followed the game plan as best I could.

"But there's still a lot to improve on, a lot to work on and I feel you are going to see more improvements with each fight."

Cojanu was a late replacement for the injured Hughie Fury, only taking the fight on 12 days notice.

The change in opponent upset the rhythm of Parker's preparations, even though he was well accustomed to being in a ring with Cojanu, having sparred around 100 rounds with him at two of his last three camps, as Parker used the 2.02m Romanian to prepare for taller opposition.

That familiarity, as Parker's trainer Kevin Barry had repeatedly warned in the build-up, contributed to the struggles on fight night.

"It shows that when he's been training with us he's picked up my style, he knows how I fight," Parker said.

"I did the best I could ... I put it down to we both knew each other's style.

"Kevin said not to underestimate him. This was his chance. He came here to win, he did his best, but we didn't allow him to execute his plan."

Cojanu's plan was surprisingly negative. Short on preparation, he seemed happy to try to drag the fight deep into the rounds and look for a late flurry to secure victory.

In the end it was Parker who got the deserved result. it mightn't have been everything he wanted. But in this game, a win's a win and he lives to fight another day.

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback