Up and coming young heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker sustained a serious cut to his left eye but still disposed of NZ heavyweight champion Afa Tatupu early in the second round of their NZ heavyweight bout tonight.
Parker didn't stick to his game plan of fighting like a big man but instead entered into a Samoan brawl with Tatupu, who took a pounding, but also tagged Parker above his left eye.
The injury so bad the ringside doctor almost called off the fight. Bleeding everywhere, trainer Kevin Barry later said the doctor gave Parker one round to get the job done because of the severity of the eye injury, a real shocker which may take some time to heal.
Parker though now has one of the two NZ Boxing belts, after knocking out Tatupu with a flurry of punches early in the second round, and the referee ending it at 1.55 remaining in the second round.
So Parker goes home a winner with a second round KO and will soon head back to Los Angeles to see a plastic surgeon about the eye.
It's over. Parker knocks out Tatupu with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining in the second round. A flurry of punches did the job, the cut is so bad Parker couldn't have gone on much longer. It looks horrendous. But Parker does the job on Tatupu who looked like he'd been hit by a freight train. A complete pummelling of Tatupu from Parker.
They're underway in round one and Joseph Parker is taking it to Tatupu. He's not wasting any time. A big right from Parker. Tatupu doesn't want to give up his title.
Tatupu tags Parker above the left eye, it's a bad cut and he ups the tempo. He launches into Tatupu. The cuts bad, Parker's trying to end this now, the commentators are calling it a "very, very bad cut", as the bout goes to the end of round one. Tatupu's legs are gone.
Kevin Barry wants an early night tonight.
Barry's young charge, Joseph Parker, is taking on Afa Tatupu tonight in a New Zealand heavyweight title matchup and Barry isn't all that fussed about it going the distance.
Tatupu is the current holder of the belt, but everything and everyone is pointing to a victory from 21-year-old Parker, as he looks to keep his clean professional record.
Parker weighed in yesterday at a sharp-looking 104kg, up two kilograms from when he destroyed Frans Botha in his last outing, and he will have a five kilogram advantage over Tatupu.
In Parker's six professional bouts to date, he has been past the third round just once and with tonight's matchup scheduled to go 10 rounds, there is a thought that it might be good for Parker's development to be taken into some of the later rounds.
Barry, however, wasn't all that interested in that kind of talk.
When asked if he would be happy for Parker to be pushed late into the fight, the answer couldn't have been clearer.
"No," he said." We want to finish it early if there is a chance to finish it early."
"It is a 10-round fight and we've trained for a 10-round fight. We've got a plan and if the knockout opportunity comes, it needs to be taken."