By Terence Dooley
The dust has settled on Joseph Parker’s Majority Decision win over Hughie Fury at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night and Team Fury have told BoxingScene that they will try to force through a rematch with the New Zealand-based WBO heavyweight titlist due to the lopsided scorecards that were produced after 12 rounds of boxing.
John Madfis and Terry O’Connor both handed in 118-110 cards in favour of the reigning champion, Rocky Young produced a 114-114 score, but many at ringside felt that those two winning cards were far too wide, with many giving it by a point or two either way or arguing that a draw would have been the fairest result after a fight that failed to catch fire.
The 23-year-old challenger boxed on the back foot throughout the contest, and had to deal with a cut over his right eye, an injury that was dealt with by cuts man Kerry Kayes and was caused by an accidental clash of heads. Once the fight settled down it became a battle between a matador and a bull, and Parker’s aggressive approach prevailed when the cards came in.
Peter Fury, the father and trainer of Hughie (now 20-1, 10 KOs), has told BoxingScene that they are exploring their options in the wake of the fight and hope to use Regulation 18 to force the WBO to sanction a rematch, citing the precedent set when Paul Smith secured a return with Arthur Abraham after scores of 117-111 (twice) and 119-109 failed to reflect what was a close first fight.
According to this Regulation a rematch can be sanctioned if: '[T]he World Championship Committee determines either that the resolution of a Championship Contest was substantially irregular, or that there was a clear misapplication of the rules of boxing resulting in a manifest unfairness, such that in either case the World Championship Committee determines that the Championship was substantially unresolved, the World Championship Committee may, in its discretion, recommend a direct return fight, which may be authorized only by the majority vote of the Executive Committee'.
“I thought he won it comfortably,” said Fury. “We are appealing the decision to try and get a rematch. It was ridiculous. Hughie was too slick and clever for Parker, but I wanted him to sit on his shots more, get his right hand going and have more of a punch output, which is something he’s got to work on—getting that double jab out with a right hand behind it more. He lined Parker up then wouldn’t execute it, he needed to let his shots go more.”
He added: “Kerry did a brilliant job on the cut, we’ve got to give him maximum credit for that and we’d definitely work with him again. God willing, he comes and helps us out again.”
The plan is to keep Hughie active whatever the WBO decides to do, they have penciled in an April outing in a bid to keep the contender busy and build on the 12 rounds he tucked under his belt on Saturday night.
“We will see if we get the rematch, if it comes we will take it,” stated Fury. “Either way, Hughie will be fighting in April of next year. He has had a look at what it is like on the world stage now, he knows what he is looking at and I’m going to be correcting the things that I’ve seen in that ring, the things he didn’t produce.
“We’ve had a look at him under the spotlight now, he needs to up his output at that level, throw more right hands and it will come. I put that down to a little bit of a confidence thing. When on the move you cannot generate maximum power, so I want him to step back and throw the uppercut more and catch them coming in. There is more to come with Hughie and you will see that in his next fight.
“The uppercut was a good shot for him when he used it. He can sit down on that, show more confidence in that right hand because when he does it is beautiful to see—it is as straight as an arrow and landed when he threw it. He got cut, absorbed the pressure and ticked a lot of boxes on the world stage.
“The officials were still a joke, though—it was mental. David Price gave it to Hughie. Barry Jones had Hughie up and so did Amir Khan. The majority of people had him winning by three. Some people in America told me that they thought Parker lost it by a landslide.
“Joe Joyce said if anything the decision should have been reversed. Jorge Linares and his trainer had Hughie winning, they said that he out-boxed him completely so can’t understand what the judges were looking at.
“I said: ‘Look, you have a strong character, you won that fight and are the uncrowned world champion’, and this isn’t trying to take anything away from Parker, what a lovely young man he is. This isn’t about the fighters, it is about he officials and how they had it.
“Parker and his team came over and conducted themselves impeccably, but the decision was terrible and it was wrong what they did there. Joseph missed a lot. He landed a few times yet was limited to what he could land clean. They didn’t score what Hughie did on the back foot: Mayweather, Canelo and Hopkins get scored for that type of boxing, for some reason it wasn’t seen as good enough to give the rounds to my son.
“I don’t know what they were viewing. Hughie gave him a boxing lesson there, Parker was missing, couldn’t keep up with him, and it wasn’t reflected in the scorecards. Hughie needed a knockout before the fight started if we go by those scorecards.”
Mick Hennessy, Fury’s promoter, claimed that it was a political decision, and both Tyson and John Fury have stated that “dark forces” were at work. Peter, though, just wants a chance to right what he believes was a wrong.
“I can’t say anything about that other stuff, what I can say is that something went very wrong there,” he said. “The officials got it wrong, so we will look at the stats and try to get a rematch because, at the very least, Hughie was treated unfairly.
“You always have to have a loser in a fight, as a boxing man I’d rather see Parker win convincingly than what we got because there is nothing worse than having an excellent training camp together only for that to happen. You go out there, win a decision, or think you have, and all of a sudden it goes the other way. It leaves a bitter taste.”
With a fight looming in April, it is now a case of getting Fury back into the gym, ironing a few things out and seeing what, if anything, the WBO decide to do. Far from losing confidence, Peter told me that his son now sees himself as an uncrowned champion and has vowed to come back stronger.
“He is disgusted,” he revealed. “But he is confident in his own mind. He told me that he won that fight. The judges got it totally wrong. What are they scoring, someone rushing in, missing shots and being countered? Parker had some success as well, but nowhere near enough to win that fight. They must have been scoring shots that landed on the arms because most of his punches were missing.
“It was a shambolic affair. This is a 23-year-old young man who has been robbed out of it. What fight were they watching? I don’t want to come over as a bad loser, my problem is that the judges got it so badly wrong that is unbelievable. I think that the public thinks the same thing as me. Even [Parker's trainer] Kevin Barry said that it was closer than those ridiculous scores.”
If a rematch is not forthcoming, the next best option could be a meeting with Lucas Browne. The Australian is hankering after a meaningful fight and the Furys would facilitate that one if the two teams can thrash out a deal.
“I know that Lucas Browne thinks he can knock out the two of them on the same night, so that’s a fight we’d like to make next for Hughie in April,” confirmed Fury. “I hope that ‘Big Daddy’ reads this because we’ll offer him good money and would take that fight next, we’d be happy with that.
“Browne is not anywhere near Parker’s level, so it is a good fight to ease Hughie back with. Lucas is a nice guy, he says what he thinks and we respect that, so if [Browne's promoter] Ricky Hatton gets in touch we’d like to see if we can get that one on if we don’t get the rematch.”
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