Joseph Parker cannot regain a world heavyweight title and was fortunate to receive a split decision victory over Derek Chisora, says Sky Sports expert Tony Bellew.
The New Zealander edged out Chisora on points after a hard-fought heavyweight battle on Saturday, keeping himself in contention for another world title fight.
But Bellew doubts whether the former WBO champion can triumph again at the highest level.
Asked whether Parker can reclaim a world belt, Bellew told Sky Sports: “He’s not a bad fighter, but no.”
“I think his heavyweight champion days are long gone. I don’t think he’s the fighter that he was.
“Every dog has his day. Believe you me, I know that as well as anyone. I wish tomorrow I could come back myself, but I don’t think he can reach those dizzy heights again now.
“I think he had his moment and as soon as the levels stepped up in competition, and the fitness level of the opponents that he’s facing got better, it will show.”
Bellew believes Chisora should have earned more reward from the judges, having only received a score of 115-113, while Parker gained victory with tallies of 115-113 and 116-11.
“It’s not like the Usyk fight where he’s lost and it’s been a hard fight,” said Bellew.
It’s not a robbery by any stretch of the imagination, but Derek Chisora won that fight in my opinion.
“Tonight, it was in his hands and I thought he just done enough. I just thought it was one of those fights where he brings all the pressure.
“No doubt about it, Parker was the sharper of the two. He landed some really nice combinations, but Derek pressed the whole fight. He hurt him, more times than he hurt Derek.
“I just thought for me, Derek done enough. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a big landslide victory. It’s not a robbery by any stretch of the imagination, but Derek Chisora won that fight in my opinion.”
Chisora had brought in new coach Buddy McGirt, just a few weeks before the Parker fight, and Bellew is unsure whether the 37-year-old benefitted from a different approach to training.
“The worst thing is, Derek is going to kick himself, because if Derek is in the best shape that he can possibly be in, then he finishes the way he started, because his engine just allows him to drag through,” said Bellew.
“But his tempo in the fight has gone so up and down. I think that’s because he hasn’t had a solid camp all the way through.
“I think there’s been changes that have been made that haven’t suited his style and I think he needs to look at where he’s going to go next, with regards to the training techniques, the training style that he’s using.
“I know Derek will fight on. Derek likes to fight. He’s born to fight.
“It’s not about money, it’s not about fame, Derek loves fighting.”
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