VIDEO: Joseph Parker knocks out Francois Botha, heavyweight boxing 2013
Thursday 13 Jun 2013 11:30 p.m.
Young Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker proved too fit, too fast and too strong in knocking out ageing South African Francois Botha inside two rounds in their heavyweight bout in Auckland.
Parker, 21, wasted little time in accounting for the 44-year-old Botha, who had stepped in the ring with some big names, including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko.
After a two-month training stint in Las Vegas under David Tua's former manager Kevin Barry, Parker looked lean and quick.
At 1.97m tall, he towered over Botha by 10cm, and weighed in nearly 13kg lighter at 103kg. He used both advantages intelligently, keeping out of reach for the first round of the scheduled three-minute, eight-round bout.
Botha struggled to match Parker for speed, and the Kiwi worked his left jab well to land a couple of telling strikes early on as he looked to find his range.
Upping the tempo, Parker buckled Botha with a powerful right hook, before unleashing a barrage of blows that forced a halt to the contest with 40 seconds remaining in the second round.
The bout against Parker was Botha's 62nd in a 23-year professional career that has brought 48 wins and 10 losses.
His last fight, against league and rugby player Sonny Bill Williams in Brisbane in February, ended in a controversial points defeat.
Parker, who switched from amateur ranks last May, had won his first five professional fights and is touted as the best Kiwi heavyweight prospect for several years.
"All the hard work paid off," Parker said. "It was a great opportunity and great victory for our team."
Barry said Parker's work ethic during his time in the United States had paid dividends.
"Joseph showed tonight that he has improved a lot in the last few months, and he also showed he has a lot more power than people think," Barry said.