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Joseph Parker beaten in first career knockout

England’s heavyweight Joe Joyce today handed Joseph Parker his first career knockout at Manchester’s AO Arena and his third career defeat early Sunday morning local time.

Parker struggled for most of the first 10 rounds, and his night ended in the 11th, as a left hook from Joyce knocked him to the canvas.

It was the first knockout loss in Parker’s 33-fight professional career.

As Parker struggled to regain his feet, referee Steve Gray didn’t wait to call the fight in Joyce’s favour. Parker trailed on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

The loss has derailed 30-year-old Parkers career who was on a bid to inch closer to another world title shot. He recently signed a fresh multi-fight deal with Boxxer in the UK but now finds himself in a familiar position of having to work his way back from disappointment.

The victory gives Joyce the interim WBO title, and fully confirms him as a serious contender in the heavyweight ranks.

Having taken some of Parkers heavy punches, Joyce looked unfazed and as if they didn’t even land, but he credited Parker in celebrating his victory.

“Joseph Parker, what a fighter, what a great fight,” Joyce said. “It was a tough fight.

“Credit to Joseph Parker, because he’s improved. What a tough fight.

“I enjoyed it, it was tough in there. I had to dig deep to get through the rounds – I really enjoyed it though.

“I hit him with everything I’ve got. Literally, the kitchen sink, the handbag, everything.

“I managed to drop him at the end, but it was hard work.”

Parker had plenty of good moments in the bout, but coming into the fight at the heaviest mark of his career (115.84kg) appeared to do him no favours when it came to dealing with the relentless pressure from Joyce.

Tyson Fury was on Parkers his side in support but the result had been disappointing for many who are now wondering what is next for the Kiwi heavyweight career.