Joseph Parker blitzes Aussie rival Faiga Opelu with a first-round knockout as Kiwi star secures back-to-back wins as Tyson Fury insists teammate is ‘back on the map’
- Joseph Parker secured a first round victory on Wednesday
- The New Zealander defeated Faiga Opelu in Melbourne
- Tyson Fury proclaimed his friend is ‘back on the map’
Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker has made short work of Faiga Opelu, stopping the Queenslander in the opening round of their Melbourne fight.
Hot on the heels of Nikita Tszyu’s first-round knockout of Benjamin Bommber, co-main event star Parker ensured an early night at Margaret Court Arena.
Parker was supported ringside by his good friend and WBC world champion Tyson Fury.
The Brit, who was interviewed in the ring post-fight, maintained Parker, who won a world title back in 2016, was ‘back on the map’.
Parker started the barrage with a left uppercut and then hammered Opelu, with the referee stopping the fight with one minute 29 seconds left in the first round.
Joseph Parker secured a first round victory on Wednesday when he defeated Faiga Opelu
The former world champion floored his rival in the opening stanza of his fight
Parker celebrates with his team following his dominant victory in Melbourne
Fighting for the first time in Melbourne, Parker said he wanted to make a ‘statement’ and was now ready to move on.
‘I wanted to make a statement,’ Parker said.
‘I haven’t had the best performances of late but that’s a statement,’ said the 31-year-old, whose record is now 32-3.
‘I want to get onto the next one as soon as I can, I want to keep busy to get momentum and get back to the top as fast as I can.
‘Anyone who is keen anywhere, I don’t care who it is, I want to fight.’
Fury was impressed by his sparring partner’s showing.
World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury proclaimed that his friend is ‘back on the map’
‘I thought it was a great performance, it just shows how hard Joseph has worked in the gym.
‘I’ve always said there’s a lot of levels in boxing and Joe’s a former world heavyweight champion and he’s soon to be back there.’
He said he’d like to see Parker next have a rematch with Andy Ruiz or Joe Joyce.
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