Joseph Parker showed he’s more than just a puncher by working his way to a unanimous decision victory over tough opponent Carlos Takam in New Zealand.
The 24 year-old Kiwi was taken the distance for only the third time in his 19-fight career as Takam proved a hard nut to crack in what was a final eliminator with the International Boxing Federation.
Parker just edged the majority of exchanges in a closely fought contest to see out a 116-112 twice and 115-113 verdict to seal his chance against current champion Anthony Joshua in the next twelve months.
Joshua firstly faces undefeated American Dominic Breazeale in June before another defence later this year, with Parker stipulated to have his earned shot arranged by November at the latest. That could see the pair share a ring by the spring of 2017 in a mouth-watering clash that has been over two years in the making.
Takam can regroup on this performance and is still a world class operator despite dropping a third defeat from 37 bouts and once again falling at the final hurdle.
The France-based Cameroonian had previously lost out to Alexander Povetkin when on the cusp of challenging for a world title shot and could have good claims for a rematch should Parker opt for a competitive warm-up for Joshua.