Dillian Whyte digs deep and survives late onslaught to defeat Joseph Parker

What happens next could be worth millions to Dillian Whyte but he ought to take some time to count his lucky stars first.That’s not to say he was in any way unworthy of his unanimous points win over Joseph Parker on Saturday night. Not at all.

But it should also be noted just how perilously close he came to a place in the heavyweight wilderness in the brilliant 12th round of a fine fight when Parker stepped in and almost turned the lights out with a monster of a right hand. Whyte had led a close bout before that point, but with that one shot he was smashed to the deck.Credit to Whyte because he got up on unsteady legs and survived on instinct for the handful of seconds that remained in the fight, but what if the knockdown had come a minute earlier? Or even half a minute?

In that instance, it is entirely possible Parker would have finished the job and finished Whyte’s career among the elite with it.Instead, Parker ran out of time and Whyte spent what was left of the night looking ahead to either a rematch with Joshua or a crack at the WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

He’ll make sacks of cash either way, so no wonder he smiled at how this all played out, with the judges giving him the verdict by scores of 115-110, 114-111 and 113-112 after knockdowns in the second and 10th rounds.

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