Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-3-1 (42) has promised to return to the ring following his wide points loss to former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 34-3 (23) on the massive ‘Day of Reckoning’ card at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
The 38-year-old American never for going against New Zealand’s Parker, 31, failing to let his hands go and largely missing with his shots when he did. Parker controlled the action to win by scores of 118-111, 120-108 and 118-110.
The loss has cast doubt on Wilder’s proposed bout against two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 27-3 (24), who knocked out fellow contender Otto Wallin 26-2 (14) in five rounds in headline fight on the same card.
“We came out short tonight,” Wilder said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “You know what, I don’t know what happened to be honest. My timing was off and I didn’t throw my punches, I didn’t let my hands go like I was supposed to. Sometimes you get like that. But you live to see another fight. You live to see another moment. That’s all that matters.
“I’m still full of happiness, still full of joy, still full of smiles. Sorry if I let anyone down but we will be back though! That’s the thing about it. I thank you so much for the love and support I’ve got out here in Riyadh and from all my fans around the world. I appreciate you so much. This is not the end and I will be back. Love, peace and God bless.”
As bad as Wilder looked, Parker boxed splendidly in what was his fourth bout this year. Wilder entered the ring with less than once round of action under his belt in the past two years.
Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott praised Parker’s team for doing their homework on his fighter.
“Bad night in the office. First of all, Joseph Parker and Andy Lee, they had a hell of a game plan,” Scott told ES News.
“Joseph Parker’s chin wasn’t over his front, a couple of times he was heavy-footed I thought that Deontay could continue to be patient, jab and make him run into something, but his chin never went over his front. He fought methodical.
“He had a game plan and he stuck to it. The best man won, congratulations to Joseph Parker. I’ve got nothing but genuine love and respect for him. He’s one of the best heavyweights in the world. There wasn’t no shame in losing to Joseph Parker.
“We had an awful night. There’s a few things that he could’ve done more of, he could’ve done right. He came out of his base a lot. His chin came up a few times. The jab, it wasn’t filling blank spaces.
“[There were] times in the fight nothing was going on and that was good for Parker, not good for Deontay.”