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Joseph Parker's career alive after victory over Derek Chisora, but killer instinct still lacking

Joseph Parker's career remains alive after a narrow nail-biting split decision victory over Derek Chisora in Manchester this morning.

Parker struggled early and was knocked down within the first ten seconds of the fight, as Chisora looked to impose himself in the opening rounds.

However, as time went on, the 37-year-old Brit began to show his age, slowing down significantly in the second half of the bout, allowing Parker more freedom to jab and land combinations.

Parker looked fresh throughout, maintaining good movement on his feet and strength in his punches, but still that killer instinct lacked.

There were times where he could have taken more control and thrown heavier blows. But much like the Junior Fa bout earlier in the year, Parker could just go to another gear.

Joseph Parker strikes Derek Chisora with a right hook in their heavyweight bout in Manchester. Source: Matchroom

As time ticked down in the final round, Parker landed a quick combo, leaving Chisora leaning on the ropes.

But Parker backed off and feigned a jab rather than going in for the knockout blow.

It nearly cost him. The commentators had the fight going either way as the scores were read out, but Parker ended up taking it by split decision 116-111, 115-113, 113-115.

"It was a tough fight, I got caught right at the beginning. I had to dig deep and stay focused and follow the plan that we had in place," Parker said after the fight.

"Derek was a very tough opponent. He came forward, put pressure on me from the beginning and threw big bombs that landed.

"It was a very close fight. I thought it could go either way."

Parker said he still has dreams of regaining the World Heavyweight title, saying it was "very achievable".

"There's a lot of things I have to work on ... There's still a lot I can show, I need to keep working with Andy."

Chisora did not hide the fact that he thought he was robbed by the judges, saying he was "beyond upset" with what he felt were unfavourable decisions against him.

"I train hard, I fight, I bring the pressure on. I bring everything and this is the treatment I get from boxing ... I think they don't like me.

"This is unbelievable. I won the fight, even his [Parker's] coach Andy Lee said I won the fight."

Lee butted in on Chisora, saying Parker had told him after the fight ended he did not think they had won it.

"We're in his country, I thought he should get some fair play, the man's a warrior," Lee said.

"I put in more power punches and inside work," Chisora continued.

"I won't let them slow me down, I will go again. I will not let them win."

The two shook hands on a potential rematch on the Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua undercard, which has yet to be set a date.

Lee said a rematch was the right thing to do, and was not overly impressed with Parker's performance in their debut bout together.

"Joe wasn't presenting any threat. He looked very passive and so Chisora was just taking the invitation."

In the final round, a big knockout finish looked on the cards, before Parker backed off, which did not impress his trainer.

"He had him gone, had him gone, and he just didn't let his hands go," Lee said.

"He knew himself when he was going back into his old shell."