Parker arrived in Manchester for his first ever bout in the UK with an impressive 23-fight unbeaten record behind him.
The New Zealander was scheduled to face Fury in his own hometown of Auckland in the spring but the Brit pulled out with an injury.
Instead, he beat Razvan Cojanu but did nothing to dispell the whispers that he is not a worthy world champion.
But that won’t bother Fury who is looking for win No 21 of his career and a first ever world title at the age of just 23.
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A very close round. Both fighters have found a range and a rhythm but the key there was that Parker landed more and cleaner shots. Have to give the New Zealander the ninth on that basis.
Good boxing from Hughie. Really strong boxing from the Brit as he dodges the fiercest of Parker’s punhcing and lands a couple of his own. A speculative round from both fighters.
Big right hook from Parker to Fury’s chin but he seems unphased. Parker is tough to hit when he gets it wrong too, because of that “bull in a china shop” charge.
That’s Fury’s problem at the moment, being unable to throw meaningful punches. It’s coming though.
Potentially the most even round of the fight apart from the four as Fury does some really strong work to the body and lands a strong jab late in the round to earn the point on my card.
Not a good round for Fury I reckon. Gets caught a few times and doesn’t seem to be making much of an impression.
Some smooth work from Fury, catching Parker hard on the way in. Good boxing. But he still needs to win rounds and that will require some sustained periods of pressure. Yet to see that from the challenger.
Fury is also cut but the referee has called it an accidental clash of heads.
Parker’s tempo has begin to drop as you might expect and Fury is landing a few body shots. The New Zealanader does still managed to pin him in the corner once though, using that brutish strength which Anthony Joshua warned Fury would make Parker very tricky to fight.
Fury still jabbing off the back foot as expected with Parker charging a bit. The awkward defence makes it hard to really land against the Brit. Tight round but probably still Parker’s.
Fast start from Parker who pins Fury to the ropes and lands some good shots but the Brit manages to avoid the worst of it. Both seem very, very excited.
Fury is wearing, it appears, what can only be described as a skort. My sister has one for hockey.
10.45pm: Fury makes his way to the ring with cousin Tyson in tow and some Irish folk music blaring out. Tyson looks enormous and Hughie looks like he’s not wearing any proper shorts. They are really short.
After a traditional haka anthem, Parker struts to the ring flanked by two men in national dress with rap music incongruously play over. The two men and about thirty others are in the ring now. Seconds away.
10.35pm: The national anthems of Britain, Ireland, Samoa and New Zealand are supposed to be playing. But the sound system is having a real nightmare. We get half of the Irish, most of the British and then the Samoan is sung a capella.
10.30pm: Murray wins! The referee gives him a 96-93 victory over Fagan, much to the disappointment of his fans from Ellesmere Port who have turned out in big numbers.
10.20pm: Another fine fight goes the distance, by the looks of things. Murray was knocked down in the first round and also had a point deducted which might prove crucial.
Here we go with the last round…
10.05pm: We’re back in the ring now with Joe Murray and Matty Fagan fighting an eliminator for the British lightweight title.
But there has been some excellent out-of-ring work from Murray, who walks in to the Gladiator “are you not entertained” speech followed by running in wearing a straw hat and some blue dungarees. Amazing.
They’ve got down to the boxing business now though and it’s a pretty even fight after six rounds.
9.50pm: A FRANTIC few minutes. Firstly, in the ring, Wale is still British champion after a stunning 11th round knockout of Broadhurst. A HUGE straight right leaves him flat on his back and when he tries to get up, the legs fail him entirely.
Outside the ring, a massive brawl has erupted in the crowd. Very unpleasant indeed and there are about 40 security guards in yellow jackets on hand to smother the offenders. Not nice to see at all. Boxing doesn’t need it, or them.
9.30pm: Anthony Ogoogo in the house, ladies and gentleman. He says he’s backing Luke Campbell when he takes on Jorge Linares in LA tonight – that fight kicks off at 4am so it’s going to be long night for the former prospect.
Two other men it’s currently a long night for are Josh Wale and Don Broadhurst. The British bantamweight title fight is into a gruelling 10th round.
8.45pm: A sombre moment as the boxing community in Manchester pays its respects to Jake LaMotta who passed away this week.
The 10 bells are rung for him one last time and they are swiftly followed by British bantamweight champion Josh Wale and the challenger Don Broadhurst.
8.30pm: Jimmy Kelly wins! Fierce stuff from the local lad who dropped Kostov three times in total before the referee stopped the fight right at the end of the fourth round.
Powerful stuff from Kelly. Those left hooks to the body were fierce.
8.15pm: A title fight of sorts coming up now – Jimmy ‘Kilrain’ Kelly taking on Stiliyan Kostov for the WBO Intercontinental super-welterweight title.
Kelly has made a great start, dropping the Bulgarian in the first round with a fine body shot.
7.45pm: Probably the best fight of the undercard so far is into its 10th and final round – Shayne Singleton and Peter McDonagh had a set-to at the weigh-in, and Singleton has refused refused to touch gloves at the beginning of the first or the 10th round. It’s been a thrilling, close fight but judging by McDonagh’s attitude to that final round, he thinks he’s behind…
But the referee has given it to McDonagh! Tyson Fury is in the ring with him having cheered him all the way! Scenes!
7.30pm: Tyson Fury is in the house! The former heavyweight champion has been around all week to support his cousin and was particularly active at the weigh-in yesterday.
He’s got another lovely suit on and turned up in a VERY large pair of aviators – he’s taken them off now though.
7pm: Billy Joe Saunders is here tonight…although getting in appears to have been a problem.
The WBO middleweight champion has finally taken his seat ringside but it took a number of phone calls and some serious persuasion of a steward.
And I thought I found it hard getting in…
6.30pm: Plenty of people asking me this week how much money there really is in this fight. Well, I can tell you that if you’re expecting Mayweather McGregor numbers, you’ll be disappointed.
The fight initially went to purse bids with Parker’s promoters Duco Events winning with a bid of around £2.2million and booking the fight for the spring in Auckland.
However, Fury was forced to pull out with a back injury and Parker instead defended against Romania’s Razvan Cojanu in a dominant points win.
The New Zealander would have made around £1.3m out of the first fight but the deal was renegotiated when they relocated the bout to Manchester.
Fury is expected to make £750,000 out of the fight on home soil while this time around, Parker is understood to be receiving a purse payment of £1.1m.
6.20pm: Jack Cullen maintains his unbeaten record after stopping Callum Ide, to the delight of the Bolton fans who have made the trip into Manchester for the bout.
6pm: We had to wait a while, but it’s finally here. Hughie Fury returns to the ring for the first time since April last year later tonight and could become the second member of his family to lift the WBO heavyweight title.
But it will be no mean feat. Joseph Parker’s camp have come to Britain amid rumours that this fight wouldn’t even happen but David Higgins and Duco Events always trusted that Team Fury would ensure it went ahead – and here we are.
We’ve also got a pretty busy undercard with a couple of domestic titles to be decided and we are already into the third fight of the evening. Wins for Lee Carter and Alex Dickinson, both with plenty of local support, have put everyone in a fine mood.