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Joseph Parker scores first KO win in two years in bout marred by low blows

Anthony Cocks

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Joseph Parker 25-2 (19) has dismissed claims that low blows contributed to his third round knockout of Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores 17-2-1 (15) at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand on Saturday night.

The former WBO heavyweight champion knocked Flores down twice late in the third round with the Mexican-American being counted out at 2:51 of the frame.

After the knockout Flores bitterly complained about low blows during the fight that he says changed the course of the fight and marred the result.

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Parker, 26, insisted the low blows were purely accidental.

“There were a couple of blows that were low, yeah,” agreed Parker. “It wasn’t intentional. I knew there were a few but he didn’t get knocked out by a body shot. It was a head shot.”

Trainer Kevin Barry agreed.

“He didn’t knock him out with a low blow, he knocked him out with right hand to the chin that spun his eyes to the back of his head and he was down for about two minutes with his eye split open,” he said. “That’s a pretty decent couple of punches for me.”

Parker secured his first win for the year after back-to-back losses in the UK to unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and leading contender Dillian Whyte. It was also his first knockout in more than two years.

“There was a lot of soul-searching after the last fight in London against Dillian Whyte,” Barry said. “A lot of people questioned Joe and said there’s not enough mongrel in him.”

Speaking to the media in his dressing room after the fight, Flores said he was expecting a cleaner fight from Parker, despite the Kiwi saying before the fight he was going to be meaner in the ring.

“I didn’t expect this. I expected a cleaner fight. He is a former world champion, I didn’t think he would fight dirty. He clearly hit me low twice. In the last one… that one hurt me pretty good,” said Flores to the New Zealand Herald.

“He started getting frustrated, as you guys would have seen. He wasn’t hitting me. I think he underestimated me. I’m disappointed. I didn’t expect this outcome.”

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