SOLOMON Haumono’s dreams of an unlikely world title tilt were crushed by Joseph Parker in Christchurch.
It took the 24-year-old Auckland native just shy of four rounds to deal with Haumono’s size and lumbering style, before breaking down the Australian with a crisp uppercut that split the defences of the 40-year-old challenger.
The knockdown wasn’t from a shuddering blow that people were expecting, but nevertheless it ended the contest.
Haumono (now 24-3-2, 21 KOs) started with promise, forcing Parker (now 20-0, 17 KOs) back to the ropes for the majority of each passing round. He had fleeting success with his signature right hand, but Parker ate them well.
To his credit, Parker took his time and used a careful selection of shots to wear down Haumono.
The biggest talking point of the sell-out event had nothing to do with either fighter, but rather the inept decision making of senior referee Bruce McTavish, who gave Haumono an express version of the traditional ten count.
The 75-year-old McTavish appeared to have missed four seconds in his count according to timekeeper David Kettle, and looked to have changed his mind several times – before waving off the contest – without actually doing so.
Horncastle Arena eventually understood the decision when McTavish informed Haumono’s corner of the stoppage.
A livid Team Haumono, led by the fighters manager Matt Rose, have filed an official protest in relation to the incompetent officiating, although their objections appear to be pointless as Parker has signed for his next fight.
An announcement is forthcoming on Tuesday, where it is believed Alexander Dimitrenko will be unveiled.
The week went from bad to worse as Sam Soliman succumbed to Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
The former IBF middleweight titleholder made his first appearance of the year in Connecticut where former Olympian Derevyanchenko became only the second person to halt Soliman in 59 professional appearances.
Soliman (now 44-14, 18 KOs) appeared to be his usual self and was in tremendous condition, but Derevyanchenko’s power conquered Soliman’s unorthodox style and his bullish strength derailed Soliman in just two rounds.
At 42, it is rational to suggest that Soliman’s best days are most likely behind him. However, if he was to continue fighting, there is no doubt that he would still be amongst Australia’s best operators at middleweight.
But if he is unable to recapture the form that earned him the IBF middleweight title, it would be unavailing.
After enduring a professional career that has spanned almost two decades, there would be no shame in hanging up the gloves. After all, if the heart of Australian boxing had an owner, it would probably belong to Sam Soliman.