In the closing stages of a reckless encounter, Joe Joyce planted his feet and hit home a savage left hook that left Joseph Parker to the point of no return.
The Juggernaut, whose bone density is a whopping five times that of a normal human, had to go through the kind of punches most mere mortals would leave in a heap on the canvas to get there, but after repelling Parker’s best attacks, he was overwhelmed. he his heavyweight rival and closed the show emphatically.
This was a serious statement from Joyce, the most impressive of his career to date. No fighter had managed to stop Parker, the former WBO champion, from afar before their fight at the Manchester Arena before.
Joe Joyce defeated Joseph Parker with a savage left hook in Manchester on Saturday
The Juggernaut left Parker in a heap on the canvas after delivering the battle-winning punch
His devastating hook changed that stat on Saturday night, but Joyce had to watch the knockout back to remember.
Reflecting on victory in an exclusive conversation with Sports post, he says: ‘I thought it was a big statement. But shortly after the fight I couldn’t even remember which shot I hit him with, then I watched the replay and I thought “OOOOH! Left Hook!”
“It’s all a blur because if you’re in the first person and you’re confused, you won’t know how you did it until you look back on it. Then you see, “oh yes, I hit him with a lot of shots.” But in there it was a very tough battle. Respect to Joseph Parker for pushing me.
“I went for the knockout and tried to get him out of there in seven hours. He felt it in the third and seventh, and I tried to get him out of there in the eighth, but I was like “oh no, he’s not going anywhere”.
“I thought he would go all the way to round 12 and take it to the points, but it was good that I hit him with that left hook.”
So was it the best punch he’s ever thrown?
“Yes,” Joyce admits. “That was definitely a highlight on the reel!”
Saturday’s win just showcased the granite chin Joyce possesses. His abnormal bone density, discovered in tests at the Harlequins Rugby Club, has so far enabled him to take punishment like no other in the professional ranks.
Both Parker and young prospect Daniel Dubois, whose spirit was also broken by Joyce in 2020, landed flush on the 37-year-old and barely wavered him in the process. At best, their thumping shots just stiffened his legs.
Joyce ran through some brutal shots to land the punch he admits was the best of his career
He has a bone density five times that of a normal human, which explains his granite chin
While it’s not just his unique physical quality that keeps him off the canvas, there’s a method to the madness too.
Joyce, who admits his ribs are a little sore after sending Parker body shots, says: “I prepare really hard for fights and make sure I’ve done all the muscle groups I need so that when I get to that go in, I’m in. the best form I can be. And also driving in the pictures takes the sting out of them, if you can see them coming.
“But yeah, I’ve had a few flushes and I think you must have phenomenal strength to harass me, especially when I’m on my footwork and moving around.
“As you see Dubois, he has phenomenal strength. But I had to be static to hit him. When I’m on the move it’s harder to get full power to land a shot, but Parker hit me with some good shots during the fight.”
Parker must now return to the drawing board after collapsing to the third loss of his career, albeit his first since consecutive points losses to Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua in 2018.
After losing his WBO tie to Joshua, the New Zealander has yet to compete for a world title, but Joyce gives him a tip to do so in the future.
Parker called Joyce on Tuesday to wish him well after their momentous heavyweight clash
The latter received a call on Tuesday from Parker, who is now going home to “sit on the beach and eat some mangoes,” wishing him all the best in his pursuit of glory.
“He actually called me today and wished me the best,” Joyce reveals. “He’s actually going back to New Zealand to sit on the beach, eat some mangoes and spend time with his family.
‘It was good to talk to him, he is in a good mood. I’m looking forward to seeing his next fight and he’s also looking forward to seeing who I’m standing next to him with.
‘I think he’s hungry for’ [to challenge for a world title again]. He’s only 30. He’s a very skilled boxer and he’s got strength, dedication and I think he’ll do well.”