Deontay Wilder entered the ring against Joseph Parker a heavy favourite to score the 43rd knockout of his highlight reel career. Parker had other plans.
The 31-year-old from New Zealand, under the guidance of Andy Lee, took to the centre of the ring from the off and kept out of range before attacking in bursts to stun and, on at least one occasion, hurt Wilder.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ was bamboozled and likely suffering from ring rust. He struggled to pull the trigger throughout the twelve and lost widely on all three scorecards, one being a complete shut out in Parker’s favour.
At 38-years-old, the loss is devastating for Wilder, who had previously just fought one round in two years. Not only has he seen signed plans to fight Anthony Joshua go up in smoke, he also has to contend with a big drop in the rankings.
As of November, Wilder was ranked number one with the WBA. With the Parker loss and the December update, he is no longer found in the top fifteen at all. The sanctioning body is yet to release the reason behind the movements and there could be another contributing factor alongside this defeat.
As for Parker, he goes from outside of the top fifteen straight in at number 3, just behind Anthony Joshua and newly crowned number one contender, Martin Bakole.
Wilder has, since he lost the belt to Tyson Fury, held on to the WBC’s number one spot. Its rankings haven’t been updated to reflect this latest result, but are sure to see another drop for the hard-hitting heavyweight from Alabama.
He has confirmed he will fight on, but admitted he needs to rediscover his killer instinct.