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22 Feb 2018 19:40
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Boxing

    Parker hits out at UK referee appointment

    Joseph Parker's management are furious a British referee will control his heavyweight title fight against Hughie Fury.


    Joseph Parker's promoters have launched a broadside at what they say is the appointment of a home town referee for his world heavyweight title defence.

    Duco Events have failed in their bid to have Terry O'Connor removed as referee when Briton Hughie Fury challenges New Zealander Parker for the WBO belt in Manchester on September 23.

    An appeal to the British Boxing Board of Control has fallen on deaf ears according to Duco Events director David Higgins, who says he is "appalled" that Birmingham-born O'Connor will control the fight.

    Higgins says a written request from the WBO body to the BBBoC to follow its guidelines with regard to the neutrality of officials for world championship bouts has also been rejected.

    "This appointment of 'home town' officials contravenes the WBO's guidelines that officials should be neutral, and clearly leaves the contest open to speculation about bias and impropriety," Higgins said.

    "Inexplicably the BBBoC has ignored that. This is disgraceful."

    O'Connor, 63, has controlled both of Fury's fights this year, in wins over Cameroon's Fred Kassi and American Dominick Guinn.

    Higgins says the appointment runs blatantly against the "spirit of the deal" with Fury's promoters Hennessy Sports.

    "The entire world knows that Hughie Fury is going to run away from Joseph Parker, clinch, elbow, headbutt and do whatever he can to steal a result. Having a referee with whom he is familiar clearly provides an unfair advantage.

    "We might have expected this sort of thing had the bout been held in a banana republic, but to see this lack of neutrality and fair play in a nation like Great Britain is staggering."

    Higgins says Duco Events had lobbied the BBBoC successfully to have a New Zealander added to the judging panel to balance the presence of a British judge.


    NZN




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