Auckland - New Zealander Joseph Parker claimed the vacant WBO world heavyweight
boxing title on Saturday with a contentious majority points decision
against Mexico's Andy Ruiz.
Two judges called the fight 115-113 in favour of Parker and the third had it 114-114, improving Parker's career record to 22-0.
came into the fight at 29-0 with 19 knockouts and was the more
aggressive fighter throughout the 12-round contest.
He pushed forward
constantly and had the taller and leaner Parker on the back foot.
Parker landed a few late combinations in the fight but at least five of the first six rounds appeared to belong to Ruiz.
The Mexican also had the better of three of the last six rounds.
"What a dream come true," Parker said. "(Ruiz) showed he was a great fighter."
Ruiz wants to fight Parker again.
"I think (I) got the win or at least a draw, I think I set the pace with my jab," Ruiz said. "Maybe we'll get the rematch."
weighed in Friday two kilograms heavier than his previous highest fight
weight and looked out of condition. In contrast, Ruiz shed a large
amount of weight in altitude training and looked fitter than usual but
was still heavier than Parker.
Ruiz was the aggressor through the
first half of the fight, stalking Parker in the center of the ring,
pushing forward and avoiding Parker's jabs.
He scored continuously in
the early rounds, showing patience in using his jab, while Parker looked
lethargic and struggled to use his left hand to any effect.
tried to lift his effort in the second half of the bout but still
seemed ineffective, missing with his jab and mistiming his combinations.
He seemed to come into the last round significantly behind and the
judges' decision in favour of Parker was a major surprise.
didn't appear to have landed any significant blows throughout the fight
and showed a passivity that contrasted with Ruiz's more active style.