Joseph Parker KO's Solomon Haumon after four rounds

Pics 22/07/2016

Unbeaten New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker has made it 20 professional wins in resounding fashion, beating Australian Solomon Haumono by knockout in Christchurch.


Parker floored the 40-year-old former rugby league international on Thursday with an upper-cut midway through the fourth round.


Dominating the earlier rounds, Parker remains the mandatory challenger to Briton Anthony Joshua's IBF belt.

Haumono would have taken that status from him but was never in the contest, looking increasingly vulnerable against Parker's superior speed through the first three of 12 scheduled rounds.


The fight ended when heavy favourite Parker followed a left jab with a right upper cut which sent his Auckland-born opponent to the canvas.


Haumono appeared to have regained his feet before the 10-count but experienced New Zealand referee Bruce McTavish ruled he was too slow to do so.


It drew no complaint from former NRL player Haumono, who suffered just the third loss of a 29-fight pro career dating back to 2000.


"I thought I was able to continue but you can't go against the referee. You get taught as a young kid that the referee is always right," Haumono said.

"Joseph's a great man representing the Pacific islands and, hopefully, he can reach the heights that we all believe he can."


Parker's 17th win by knockout wasn't his most-emphatic display.


There was swelling under both eyes after being tagged by right-hand shots in the first round.


As was the case during his last-start win over classy Cameroon fighter Carlos Takam, Parker looked awkward on the ropes and had to be told several times to stay lower by trainer Kevin Barry.


The 24-year-old was thankful for some mid-fight advice from Barry about how to deal with Haumono's forward-moving approach.


"Kevin teaches many different combinations and he says that timing is everything. You have to pick your shots.


"I was slack on the jab but, when the jab started pumping in the fourth round, the openings started to come."


Barry was most impressed with his charge's upper cuts and body shots.


He said an announcement would be made on Tuesday about Parker's schedule, potentially revealing some details about the fight against Joshua.