Joseph Parker finished stronger but it was too little too late in his fight against Dillian Whyte in London this morning.
Whyte ate the canvas late in the final round at the O2 Arena, but it wasn't enough for Parker who had largely been kept quiet throughout the 12 round bout.
Parker said after the fight that both fighters have a lot to learn, however he says Whyte "put up a great fight in front of his home crowd."
Having lost to his World Title to Anthony Joshua in March, Parker was looking to avoid a second consecutive loss and regain some ground in the packed Heavyweight divisions.
The signs for Parker however weren't good early in the fight when he was knocked down for the first time in his professional career at the end of the 2nd round, albeit as the result of an accidental headbutt by Whyte. Seven rounds later, in the 9th Whyte landed a clean shot on Parker, and Parker was on the ground for the second time. Parker didn't stay on the ground long however.
Whyte said Parker is a tough opponent who doesn't give in, "I hit him with some punches and he got dropped, and he got back up and dropped me."
With only three and a half rounds left, Parker was needing a knock-out to avoid back-to-back losses. Whyte began to tire, and it looked like Parker could power his way home as he began to land some punches on his British opponent.
Ultimately however, he was too far behind Whyte. "I can't turn back time, I got twelve rounds to fight, gave it my best. Better man won," Parker said.
With the victory Whyte walks away with the WBC Silver and WBO International Heavyweight belts, and moves closer to a possible shot at a World Title fight against Anthony Joshua.
Parker on the other hand will return home to his family and look towards rebuilding his pathway back to a World Title. "I'm always going to come back stronger."