Joseph Parker beats Hughie Fury to retain WBO world heavyweight title

Joseph Parker beats Hughie Fury to retain WBO world heavyweight title

Nevertheless, he did enough to secure victory, with two judges handing him a 118-110 victory and the third awarding a tie.

The scalp of a Fury is significant in these quarters and while Hughie is far cry from his illustrious cousin Tyson, a lineal champion in the glamour division, Parker can now trade off the Fury name.

Fury, renowned for his gangly frame and awkward style, successfully stymied Parker's attempts to provoke a mano-a-mano slugfest and likely shaded the early rounds with his deft footwork and aloofness.

Parker spent more time on the front foot in Manchester and was more aggressive, but seldom landed the telling blow on an elusive Fury.

This was his first defeat after going 20-0, while Parker improves to 24-0 and a likely clash with Anthony Joshua in 2018.

After three rounds of nearly no meaningful connections, the fourth was the most dramatic so far, with Fury landing with a counter right uppercut as Parker stormed forward, but he ended the round with blood seeping from near his right eye after an accidental clash of heads.

The fifth was back to Fury boxing on the back foot and throwing single shots as he switched stances but he was struggling to deter Parker, who landed a good right towards the end of the round.

'It's a great result, but I want to go back to New Zealand and have a bit of a break now.

The WBO Heavyweight champ couldn't catch Hughie Fury's chin, but he's happy to still have the belt around his waist. I caught him with the harder punches, and feel I won the fight fairly. Parker was starting to close the gap in terms of the distance. (Reuters) Fury's tactic was to counter-punch and found success with his right.

Fury's best punches of the evening came with the same sharp right uppercut in the fourth and sixth round, but his gameplan was to stay out of Parker's reach behind the jab. Parker continued to dig to the body to slow down Fury, who still looked strong on his legs. "Now we've got a win under our belt, we can come back and set up some good fights - so we're excited for what the future holds", Parker said.