Lupesoliai Joseph Parker went two years without a knockout win, but when it came against Alexander Flores in Christchurch this morning, it was worth the wait.
Lupesoliai knocked Flores out with 2:51 gone in round three, with a brutal seven punch combo completing a well-crafted performance.
Flores and his corner were frustrated by potential repeated low blows being let go by the referee.
Crucially a second borderline punch from Lupesoliai with 50 seconds left in the third caused Flores to hesitate and look to the referee, which opened the door for the big right hander the Samoan had been searching for.
That knocked Flores down, and with the mood Lupesoliai was in the fight was never going to last long.
“We had two losses this year and wanted to end the year with bang,” he said.
“We were badly looking for a knockout tonight, and I thought Joseph looked great,” said Lupesoliai’s trainer Kevin Barry.
“After those losses Joe really wanted to let his hands go to close the year.”
Lupesoliai set the agenda from the fight right from the beginning, looking to set up a big right hand through his persistent jab.
Flores held his own though, with Lupesoliai unable to get through the Mexican-American’s strong left hand defence.
Lupesoliai stayed aggressive and eventually found the opening.
He said it was up to the referee to adjudicate on any low blows
“As a fighter, my job is to throw punches.”
The referee warned Lupesoliai to watch the height of his body blows three times, but Flores didn’t think that was enough.
“He hit me low 3 or 4 times, but it is what it is, congratulations to Parker and his team,” he said.