Joseph Parker continued his bid to return to world title contention with a third-round knockout of Canadian Simon Kean in Saudi Arabia.
And on Saturday night, he got it.
Against the former Olympian and late-blossoming contender, the Kiwi engaged in a spirited battle from the outset, with Kean landing a solid left-hook in the opening round that appeared to stagger Parker slightly.
Despite Kean enjoying some success in the early going, Parker’s experience at the highest levels showed, and he capitalised on Kean’s defensive vulnerabilities to land a solid uppercut in the third round.
Joseph Parker recorded a third-round KO on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou
The Kiwi dropped Simon Kean after scoring a pair of devastating uppercuts against the Canadian
Kean attempted to return to his feet but was counted out by the referee with over a minute remaining in the round
Though visibly hurt, Kean goaded the 31-year-old to continue his assault; waving Parker forward as the third round wore on.
Parker remained disciplined in his hunt for the KO though, and again perfectly placed his uppercut on the Canadian’s chin, this time sending him crashing to the canvas.
Kean attempted in vain to return to his feet, and the referee waved the fight off with a minute remaining in the round to mark the former WBO Heavyweight champion’s third victory of the year.
The victory marks Parker’s 33rd inside the ring since making his professional debut in 2012.