HUGHIE FURY failed in his quest to become the next heavyweight world champ from the family as he fell to a contentious points defeat by Joseph Parker.
The 23-year-old was hoping to claim the belt once held by elder cousin Tyson, but at the Manchester Arena he came up short against the undefeated Kiwi.
He went down 114-114, 118-110, 118-110 on the judges’ scorecards in a majority decision.
It was Fury’s first defeat in 21 fights as a professional while Parker goes to 24 straight wins.
The result sets up the real possibility of Parker fighting British heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua in the near future in a unification blockbuster.
Parker came out flying in the opening seconds, and had Fury up against the ropes with huge sighs from the watching crowd.
But Fury danced his way out of trouble, as Parker worked out his next attack.
Fury seemed like he wanted to utilise the jab early doors, while rugged Parker already seemed to be looking for that huge hayemaker.
The second round saw Parker once again look to dominate from the centre of the ring, but Fury was proving he had the footwork to get out of trouble.
And two minutes in he landed his most telling shot of the fight so far that seemed to ruffle Parker. On the counter, he threw a huge left that saw his Kiwi opponent slump onto his shoulder.
While Parker seemed to soak it up pretty well, it gave the watching Manchester crowd encouragement that their man could rock the champ.
Fury spoke candidly in the week about suffering a skin condition that led to his skin bleeding, and at the start of the third the first sign of blood came to the fore.
Thankfully it was on his back, so was nothing for Parker to get excited about.
The two heavyweights tended to use the third to settle into the fight and try out different counters, but little was landed.
Fury started the fourth on the front foot for the first time in the fight, and found some joy with a huge left uppercut 30 seconds in.
NFL stars defy Trump to kneel for anthem at Wembley after he says FIRE any that do
flow what i mean harry
Frank Bruno sells home after travellers ‘tap into water supply’
‘WE WILL BE READY’
Antonio Conte insists Chelsea are in good shape ahead of Atletico clash
David De Stayer
Man United to offer David De Gea new deal to kill Real Madrid interest
THAT’S MOR LIKE IT
Alvaro Morata thanks Chelsea fans for changing controversial song lyrics
RUUD WAS RUDE
Revealed: The real reason why Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United
Ozil ‘wants to join Mourinho’ by snubbing Arsenal contract offer and Man Utd
Parker and his corner seemed nonplussed by it however, but it showed Fury had other weapons in his locker.
But the work was about to begin for Fury’s corner.
In the final seconds after some heavy shots traded, a cut opened up from the corner of Fury’s eye down his nose. It drew some concern among the pundits as well as fight fans.
Parker was warned by the referee about use of the head early on in the fifth, but it was more blundering than intentional.
The Kiwi boxer was starting to land more now, as Fury, for the first time, seemed heavy on his feet.
Whatever Team Fury did on the cut worked in quick time, as when he came out for the sixth the trickling blood was no more.
And Fury was starting to land more power shots on the inside. But still Parker stalked, not overawed by Fury switching to southpaw throughout.
Parker had his cornermen ecstatic a minute into the seventh when connected with a battering overhand left that had Fury clinging on. He was definitely shook but Parker lumbered in with missed rights and lefts and the chance was gone.
It was far from the dull affair many had predicted, with the only criticism being that Fury was being outscored on punches thrown.
The eighth was about conserving energy for Fury. He barely threw a punch but Parker simply could not sustain an attack, and was left looking frustrated in there.
Into the ninth, and as many predicted, it looked like it was destined for a points decision.
But Parker seemingly wanted to rip that script up. He unleashed a violent combination that for the first time seemed to wobble Fury.
But less than half of the bombs thrown landed, allowing Fury to catch his breath and get back to countering.
As the fight went into the last three rounds, the old adage that you have to rip the title from the champion became a major talking point.
Fury had fought on the back foot, and the only saving grace was the hope that the judges could be swayed by a partisan Fury crowd.
As the boxers came out the the 11th, it was interesting to hear Parker’s corner yell encouragement to their man – obviously sensing that it could be close on the scorecards.
And when it seemed destined for a 10-10 round, Parker stepped things up with a fierce combination followed by a huge left hook that had Fury against the ropes. It was a big point to take.
The referee applauded both boxers as they came out to meet in the middle for the final round.
But how Fury stood up ten seconds into it after being caught by a giant-killing right was anyone’s guess. It was undoubtedly the best punch of the fight.
The champion landed again with that same right 20 seconds later, big points in big rounds.
The bell sounded and within seconds former WBO king Tyson was striding over the top rope to hoist his man in the air.
But as the scorecards were read out, it was confirmed Fury would not be joining his cousin as world champion. For now at least.