Anthony Joshua solidified his position as the number one heavyweight in the world with an absorbing twelve round decision win against Joseph Parker in front of around 80,000 fans here at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
With the win, Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) took Parker's WBO belt, adding to his IBF and WBA titles.
There were few clean punches in a tense opening stanza as both boxers felt each other out, an energetic Parker however unable to stop Joshua dominating the middle of the ring.
If some had expected an early knockout it did not pan out that way, even if Joshua could be said to have controlled most of the 12 rounds by using his jab and left hooks to telling effect.
While it was a win for the 28-year-old, he lost his 100 percent knockout record, setting for points instead. I would have liked a ref who let Joe work when he got in close.we knew going into fight Joe had a serious reach disadvantage.
As the fight progressed, Fury became still more critical and said that the fight was proving to be a waste of people's money. I'm fit to go 12 rounds. I could beat AJ in my comeback.
"Bring him here and I'll knock him spark out".
Fuel was only added to the fire when he screamed out, "Wilder, let's go, baby".
The demand for a matchup between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua has been high for some time now and it seems the fight may finally come to fruition.
Renowned for his destructive punching power, Joshua showed another side to his boxing repertoire against Parker, whose movement, fast hands and counter-attacking ability made him a tricky opponent. It is a fight Anthony Joshua really wants and I think he wants it this year'.
The undisputed favorite of the battle bookmakers and experts believe Joshua, which is superior to the unbeaten new Zealand opponent in skill, anthropometry, physical strength and experience, obtained after 11-round Thriller with the Ukrainian legend Wladimir Klitschko. This was a boxing match, not a fight.
British Boxing Board of Control head Robert Smith, however, sided with Team Parker and the wraps remained unchanged.