Joseph Parker’s return to the winner’s circle has been met with applause from the boxing world, after the Kiwi heavyweight defeated Mexican-American Alexander Flores in Christchurch last night.

Having lost to both Anthony Joshua in April and Dillian Whyte in July, 26-year old Parker was facing the prospect of fading into boxing obscurity, with another loss all but likely to be the final nail in his career’s coffin.

However, the former WBO champion responded in style, defeating Flores with a third round knockout to re-affirm his place as one of world boxing’s heavyweight contenders.

Writing for Sky Sports UK, Richard Damerell praised Parker’s relentless approach, putting the Kiwi in line for another crack at Dillian Whyte.

“The former WBO heavyweight champion ended the year with a victory following back-to-back points defeats to Anthony Joshua and Whyte and has targeted another major fight in Britain in the near future,” Damerell said.

“Parker displayed more aggression from the opening bell, repeatedly targeting the body of Flores, and was warned for a low blow as he continued his spiteful assault in the second round.”

Australia’s Fox Sports were blown away by Parker’s performance, saying:

“Joseph Parker needed a win. And boy did he produce one — knocking out Alexander Flores in a devastating third round that was quite simply brutal.

“He stopped Flores with a series of heavy blows that proved irresistible to re-establish himself as one of the best heavyweights in the world.”

American site BoxingScene were also impressed by Parker’s efforts, stating that the Kiwis 2018 defeats were now well and truly behind him.

“Parker made good on his promise to be “meaner” in the ring – as he began very aggressive in round one, looking to make a statement. He was landing hard punches early on in the fight, with Flores initially taking the punches well to the head and body.”

“In the third, Parker worked the body and dropped Flores with a right hook. Flores beat the count and the contest was allowed to continue. Parker smelled blood and went for the kill, as he unleashed a combination that put Flores down and out cold.”

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