By Greg O’Keeffe
Dillian Whyte beat heavyweight rival Joseph Parker on points at London’s O2 Arena to bolster his claim for a world title fight.
The 30-year-old Briton made it eight wins in a row as he overpowered the former WBO heavyweight champion in a gruelling contest on Saturday.
Parker, 26, went down in the second round and once again after a chopping left hand from Whyte in the ninth.
The Kiwi rallied bravely in the last two rounds but a tiring Whyte held on.
Both previously counted a loss to Anthony Joshua as the only blemish on otherwise unbeaten records.
But Whyte, who knocked out the previously undefeated Lucas Browne in his last fight at the same venue in March, weighed in over a stone heavier than his younger opponent and ground him down.
Speaking afterwards, Whyte – nicknamed The Body Snatcher – said he wanted a rematch with WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua next.
“I would like to fight Joshua again,” he told Sky Sports. “There are still a lot of things to work on, but if he wants it he can have it.
“I might go out again in October or December. We’ll see. I’m still inexperienced and making mistakes.
“But I think there’s still another 40% left in me to come in.”
Parker, who was the first man to take undefeated Joshua to the final bell when they fought in Cardiff in March, had said he was ready “for a war” against Whyte.
His third UK fight proved to be just that as his speed and agility shone until he was roughed-up, wrestled against the ropes and bullied by his opponent.
Whyte took control from the second round onwards, walking forward with a powerful jab and forcing Parker into retorts from the back foot.
But the Auckland-born fighter recovered from that ninth-round knockdown to threaten a dramatic upset near the end as he trailed on the judges’ cards.
He had Whyte hurt with some quick right hands and sent the Briton to the canvas with 20 seconds left of the fight, but he got up to grapple his way to the final bell. BBC.