Parker remains unbeaten with a solid win over Murdock, and puts himself in the title mix at 168.
Parker (19-0, 13 KO) stays unbeaten with a solid win over Australia’s Murdock (24-2, 17 KO) in a fight that wasn’t officially a WBO super middleweight eliminator, supposedly due to a clerical error, but will retroactively be called one, or at least that’s the working idea. We’ll see.
This was No. 1 vs No. 2 in the WBO rankings, at any rate, which is kinda ridiculous but it is what it is. Parker, 25, was the more consistent fighter overall here, though it was a competitive bout, and the 28-year-old Murdock had his fair share of moments. At the time of stoppage, we had it 96-94 through 10 rounds for Parker, and Murdock appeared to be fading down the stretch, though he’d had a strong ninth round.
But Parker had a nice 10th round, and then dropped Murdock late in the 11th. Murdock got up, but the referee didn’t like his body language and stopped things at 2:58 of the 11th round. Maybe Murdock should’ve been allowed the chance to finish, but the referee had the look up close, and Murdock was not on steady legs.
The win might set Parker up for a shot at the WBO belt, currently held by Billy Joe Saunders, who is reportedly all but set to face Canelo Alvarez on May 2. Either man would obviously be a big step up for Parker, but he feels he’s ready.
“I want a world title shot as soon as possible,” Parker said. “Obviously I should be the mandatory for the (WBO) title now. I’m ready.”
Staten Island’s Mati (7-0, 5 KO) is a sharp-looking, 21-year-old welterweight prospect who made his UK debut here, and trounced Tanzania’s Luanja (13-8-2, 9 KO), who was completely overmatched. Mati put Luanja down in the second on a left hook to the body, then connected on a dumb right hand while Luanja’s knee was about two inches from the canvas. Luanja did get up, but the referee stopped it.
Mati, nicknamed “The Albanian Bear,” loves his body work, and that’s something you always like to see from a young prospect. Matchroom are very high on him, and you can see why when you watch him fight. Obviously a lot of work left to go, but the hype is understandable.