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At the end Joseph Parker knew he had fought a poor fight for twelve rounds against Hughie Fury, knew he had shown his gaping flaws and he also knew, as he smiled when the final bell sounded, that he would still be WBO heavyweight champion when the scores were read.

Parker's win - the 24th of his flawless career to date and a second title defence - was not without controversy, with one judge calling the bout level and two others giving him a 118-110 margin.

Parker celebrates his points victory.

After extending his unbeaten record, Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) wants to return to England to face the likes of IBF and WBA world titlist Anthony Joshua, or the victor of the Tony Bellew-David Haye rematch, who are expected to meet again December 17. He was really awkward and his movement was good.

"I've waited so long for this chance and my team have worked very hard to get me this fight and I'd like to thank everyone involved", he said.

Parker's corner appeared happy with their fighter's approach and even claimed after the sixth round that the Kiwi's body punches, which were only landing sporadically, were tiring Fury.

It was the first boxing event at the Manchester Arena since 22 people were killed by a terror attack after a pop concert in May.

Fury is the cousin of Tyson Fury, who won the WBO, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles by pulling off a shock points win over Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in November 2015.

Hughie Fury's father and trainer Peter believes Joseph Parker should do the right thing and have a rematch.

But Fury claimed he felt like a new man after putting his problems behind him, and his footwork, along with his flicking jab, gave Parker problems early on.

Parker opened up a bit more in the eighth round and stepped up the pace in the ninth when a flurry of punches and an overhand right found the target.

The critics of this fight and Parker's performance would be better to look at Fury first for the real reasons why a night in Manchester at times resembled Dancing With The Stars or a maul rather than a brawl. Fury started the session with a right, but Parker soon scored with a big shot of his own. I thought I won.


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