by Shaun Brown
Terry O'Connor has been replaced as the referee for this weekend's WBO World Heavyweight title fight between champion Joseph Parker and challenger Hughie Fury in Manchester.
O'Connor will instead tend to matters outside the ring acting as a judge with Marcus McDonnell stepping in to replace O'Connor.
The news comes after Parker's promoters Duco Boxing vented their annoyance at O'Connor being the man in charge on the night. Duco's David Higgins took one step further yesterday and confronted Hughie's father and trainer Peter Fury at a press conference which ended in Higgins being removed by security and Peter launching verbal expletives at Higgins.
Higgins' efforts have finally paid off and told stuff.co.nz "There has been a lot of drama about the officials for this fight and quietly behind the scenes we have been writing good letters to the organisations and we have been offered a compromise by the BBBoC which we will accept."
"Is that ideal? Maybe not but look, it's good ... at least the referee is not the same guy that did Hughie's last two fights. I'm really happy and relieved that change has been made. I think it's an OK outcome
"I'd like to thank the BBBoC for taking that position. I think regardless, the officials are going to be under a lot of scrutiny anywhere because of all the fuss."
The fight will be judged by O'Connor and two Americans but Higgins relentless pursuit of changing officials hasn't stopped with the referee. He has also written to the WBO looking for the appointment of a judge from New Zealand for what will be Parker's third world title defence.
Higgins is waiting on word back from the WBO and said: ""If there is a Kiwi to offset the Brits, that would be fine."
Marcus McDonnell was the third man in the ring for last Saturday's WBO World Middleweight title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and Willie Monroe Jr. Tthis weekend's world title bout will be the fourth he has refereed in 2017.