Joseph Parker (26-2 20 KOs) signaled his intentions to get back to the summit of the Heavyweight division with a dominant tenth round stoppage win over immovable object Alex Leapai (32-7-4). Parker’s trademark fast hands were in full effect against the former World title challenger, who swallowed some crunching uppercuts in the opening sessions.
The Kiwi dominated every round against the Australian and just when it appeared he wouldn’t be able to put the stubborn Leapai away, two separate right hands appeared to stagger the 39 year old and the referee jumped in, much to the dismay of Leapai who felt he deserved to hear the final bell, while former WBO ruler Parker was glad to get rounds under his belt before targeting bigger things.
“I haven’t been in the ring in half a year, and we got more rounds than I expected,” said Parker. “But damn, he has a hard head. But I am very excited about my deal with Matchroom and I look forward to putting on many more good performances in the future. When I started landing punches and he wouldn’t go down, I knew this was going to be tough. Thanks to my team, New Zealand, Australia, UK fans. I had to be patient and pick my shots to get the stoppage.
“Right now, I want to take a break. Then I will sit down with my team. I want to take any fight that comes my way and I really want to stay busy.
“I would fight Andy Ruiz, I know that he thinks he won that fight. Big ups to him for winning his fight against AJ but if he wanted to settle his score, I’d do it.”
Boston’s Mark ‘The Bazooka’ DeLuca (24-1 13 KOs) wants a big fight at Super-Welterweight in the UK next after taking the unbeaten record of Brandon Brewer (23-1-1 11 KOs) over ten rounds. DeLuca dominated the early rounds and went to work with heavy blows to both head and body of the bloodied Canadian, but the man from north of the border dug in and had his moments down the stretch but DeLuca landed the bout 99-91, 98-92, 97-93.
“I am here to call out the biggest name in boxing: Eddie Hearn,” said De Luca. “This is my second time fighting on a DAZN card and I am calling out Eddie to keep me busy, keep me on Matchroom cards. He’s got a lot of Super-Welterweights over in England and I am more than game. If you’d consider me, that would be great.
“It was a physical fight. I felt like I could box Brandon. I wanted to box but I got caught up. I said we were going to steal the show so going into the fight, that’s what I had in mind. I saw he was bleeding and that turned me on. He saw me bleeding, and that turned the crowd on. So we went for it.”
Three of Matchroom Boxing USA’s young stars enjoyed victories as Raymond Ford (3-0 1 KO) got his first win inside the distance with a crunching right hook to the body stopping Isidro Figueroa (1-1) in the first round, Las Vegas starlet Alexis Espino (3-0 2 KOs) destroyed debutant Kirby St. Juste in the second round and Otha Jones III (3-0 1 KO) was taken the distance for the first time over six by Matias Arriagada (6-5 3 KOs)
“I knew I was going to get him out of there,” said Ford. “He came up to me last night and asked me for a picture, today he asked me for a shirt. I knew that he wasn’t ready. I give my performance a B though. I’ve been working on my left hook to the body, it’s going to my money punch. It’s been getting stronger. His body looked soft so that was the game plan, get to the body.”
“He is strong, but he was throwing crazy,” said Espino. “It felt good getting those knockdowns. I didn’t like my last performance, so I was trying to make up for it. I have been sparring Vergil Ortiz, I have been sparring nothing but dogs at Robert Garcia’s academy. It’s crazy. I have three fights now, but I have just learned so much during those three fights.”
“I have a family friend who just passed away due to cancer. His name is Brandon. He was watching my fight while he was going through his fight. He was a great person. He was the life of the party. I want to say rest in peace to him. I love all you guys.”
“He gave me a challenge,” said Jones III. “He taught me to not go in there in the first round looking for a knockout. He made me adjust. I give myself a B tonight, not a B+, just a B. I need to sit down more on my punches, placing my shots right. Then I can go from there.”
Earlier in the night, Shelley Vincent (25-2 1 KO) bowed out of the sport with an eight round points win over Simone Da Silva (16-13 6 KOs) to end her career on a high while Anthony Concepcion (4-0 4 KOs) made it four KO wins from four fights, dispatching Yasmani Pedroso (2-7 1 KO) inside the opening session, while Anthony Marsella Jr. (13-0 7 KOs) closed the show after Andrade’s win with an impressive third round KO of Jose Aubel (8-5 7 KOs).
Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]