Joseph Parker has crashed to defeat in London against raw but brave Londoner Dillian Whyte amongst a barrage of criticism from the TV commentators.
Parker - who had been down twice - dropped Whyte to the canvas in a final frantic round, with both men absolutely exhausted. Whyte clung on, when he looked ready to fall.
It was a fantastic contest, with a storming finish from Parker coming too late and Whyte winning a fully deserved unanimous decision.
Aucklander Parker hit the canvas for the first two times of his stalling heavyweight career, unluckily in the second but after a massive left hand from Whyte in the ninth.
It was a mainly disappointing display from Parker who was trying to re-establish his credentials after the loss to Anthony Joshua in the Cardiff heavyweight unification battle this year.
Whyte muscled his way to victory, brawling and mauling Parker into submission
Parker started quickly in the first round, and was going well in the second when he hit the canvas after ahead clash which was followed by short left hook from Whyte. It was an unlucky break which galvanized Whyte, who started to box roughhouse in the third, with Parker hesitant in response.
Dillian Whyte, left, and Joseph Parker battle during their heavyweight bout at the O2 Arena in London, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Parker copped repeated criticism from the British Sky commentators from the middle of the round, the pundits accusing him of being "one paced", looking "lethargic", "not giving everything he's got".
They even accused him of "feeling sorry for himself" and being too much "Mr Nice Guy".
Trainer Kevin Barry told Parker after the eight round: "Come on buddy, he's got nothing".
Barry was concerned about Parker's condition after the knock down asking Parker if he knew where he was, before sending him bout for the 10th round.
Dillian Whyte, right, connects with a punch against Joseph Parker during their heavyweight bout at the O2 Arena in London, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Parker showed signs of life in the 11th but Whyte, rallied by his home crowd, just managed to hold him off. These were Parker's best moments.
The combatants hugged each other after the brilliant bout.
Whyte said: "Good fight, Parker is slick, annoyed I messed up at the final hurdle. I got rocked, took a knee…I'm still learning. This man has 20 something years. This man has a massive future. He's tough.
"We showed respect, I even learnt a bit of Samoan"
Whyte said he wanted to "rough him up".
Parker said: "Thanks for having us. What a great opportunity to come back to the UK…he put up a great fight in front of his home crowd. He's still progressing, same as me.
"We're still young…congratulations to my brother here. I had 12 rounds to fight, the better man won. It's been an amazing journey so far, this is just the beginning."
"I'm looking forward to going back to see my daughter and family."
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "You got value for money tonight. They put it all on the line."