THERE is an old adage that boxing is a young man’s game.
Last night at The Trusts Arena in Auckland, that point was given further justification as the fast-rising Joseph Parker proved that he is arguably the best heavyweight in this region, icing Kali Meehan in three rounds.
Parker, 23, is on a fast-track to replicate the feats of famed countryman David Tua, having already obtained an impressive list of victims including Brian Minto, Francois Botha, Yakup Saglam and Bowie Tupou.
And while the aforementioned are far from world level heavyweights, it is the impressive fashion in which Parker has brushed aside his competition that is worth noting.
His latest win over former world title challenger and SUPER 8 tournament winner Meehan (now 42-6, 32 KOs) was another exemplifying example.
“It was youth. A young fighter beats an old fighter,” Meehan said in a post-fight interview.
“I had a good run. I’ve got nothing left to prove. It’s his time now (referring to his son Willis),”
At 45, it appears likely that Meehan has laced up his gloves in the paid ranks for the final time. Although he made no official announcement, Meehan spoke like a man who was in no hurry to compete again.
“I was ducking quite easily but then one or two got in and it changed quite quickly. This is our sport – it has no mercy – but I had to do it for my own reasons and I’ve done it.”
“I take every fight as my last, I don’t make big plans.”
On the other hand, Parker (now 16-0, 14 KOs) has a ceiling that is yet to be defined. With a handful of world ratings to boot, his name is listed alongside Anthony Joshua as the future of an ageing division.
“I wanted him to pick his punches instead of just letting the bombs go all the time,” acknowledged Parker.
“He came prepared and some of the punches I threw in the first round usually knocks out people.”
If last night’s display was Kali Meehan’s professional swansong, the highly credentialed heavyweight can hold his head high, having fought at the highest level over the course of an eighteen year career.
Thank you for the memories, Kali.
Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images