Terry O’Connor to ref Parker-Fury

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker’s co-promoter Duco Events have lodged their disproval of the appointment of referee Terry O’Connor for Parker’s defense against Hughie Fury on September 23 in Manchester but the British Boxing Board of Control General Secretary Robert Smith is sticking with his pick.

“Our standard policy is to have a British referee, a British judge, an official from the country where the boxer is coming from and another from a neutral country [on the judging panel],” Smith told Sky Sports. We advised the WBO some time ago our referee we want to appoint is Terry O’Connor and the judge being Marcus McDonnell.

“We asked them to supply us their names for the other two. They supplied us two other names, which didn’t include a New Zealander. When that was questioned, we said we are very happy for a New Zealand judge, absolutely right, got no problem with that at all.

“But we still haven’t had any New Zealand judge sent to us from the WBO for approval. That’s ultimately their responsibility.

Smith confirmed Duco Events had been in touch to plead for O’Connor’s removal but indicated “no need to deviate from our standard policy.”

Parker meanwhile is not letting this distract him as he remains solely focused on training for the fight.

“It is important when you fight that you are on an even playing field but it is not my job to worry about the referee,” said Parker. “My job is to be in great shape and prepare myself for fight night. I’m going to focus on what I have to do. There is nothing to worry about when you train hard and you back yourself. I back myself to put in a great performance and take him out.”

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