By Duncan Johnstone
An angry Alexander Dimitrenko plans to protest his controversial heavyweight loss to Joseph Parker, though his argument looks likely to fall on deaf ears.
New Zealand boxer Parker beat the giant Russian with a third round TKO in Manukau on Saturday night to maintain his unbeaten record and keep himself in line for a treasured world title shot.
But the fight ended with a cloud over it as Dimitrenko complained of being pushed down and then hit while he had one knee on the canvas.
Russia's Alexander Dimitrenko writhes in agony after being felled for the final time by New Zealand heavyweight Joseph ...
He had just taken a heavy hit from Parker and was stumbling.
Canadian referee Marlon Wright, who was standing behind Parker when the final flurry of punches were thrown, counted out Dimitrenko as he writhed in apparent agony on the canvas clutching his left ribs and remained there for some time.
World Boxing Organisation supervisor Leon Panoncillo wouldn't front media after the fight but an intermediary said the officials were happy with the decision and saw little room for protest.
It was the fourth time Dimitrenko had hit the canvas during a fight totally controlled by an impressive and aggressive Parker.
"I am angry because I was down with my knee on the ground and he hit me. He pushed me (down) and then he hit me," Dimitrenko said.
"I didn't see this punch. If you don't see the punch, it is even more dangerous.
"Of course I am angry and I told this to the referee. He told me 'I didn't see, sorry, it's OK'.
"I will (protest). The supervisor is here and I will do this (protest), it is my right. I'm disappointed the way the fight ended."
Dimitrenko said he held no animosity towards Parker who clearly had no idea where his opponent's legs were as he was being grappled by the Russian.
"He is a human being like me, he is a professional boxer like me. When you fight you have too much adrenalin and you (are out to) win.
"He reacted automatically ... it was a reaction."
Dimitrenko said the fighters had been warned about pushing in the pre-fight rules meeting.
The Parker camp brushed off the controversy, saying their fighter had been totally dominant, sending Dimitrenko to the floor in every round.
Asked to comment on the punch which finished the fight, Parker's trainer Kevin barry said: "Which punch? Because I think he was finished when he (Parker) knocked him down in the first round. For me, that was the end of the fight, it was just a matter of time after that.
"I said to Joe after the first round, 'this guy will keep trying, you have to keep beating him down. But I felt comfortable after that first knock down that the fight was ours and it was only a matter of time.
"We know Joe's a finisher. When he hurts you, he's going to get you out of there and he got him out of there in the third round."
When told Dimitrenko was complaining of being hit while he had a knee on the ground, Barry continued: "Let's remember that was the third time he was down."
The scenario was the second controversial finish in as many fights for Parker.
In his win over Solomon Haumona in Christchurch in July, the Australian's camp claimed the referee hadn't counted out their fighter correctly. But again, Parker had been totally dominant over the four rounds, making the ending a formality.
Haumono's protests amounted to nothing and it seems Dimitrenko's may meet the same fate.
The referee handling Parker's win over Dimitrenko is vastly experienced. Wright's last effort in charge of a fight came just three weeks ago when he handled Gennady Golovkin's win over Kell Brook for the WBC, IBF and IBO world middleweight titles in London.
Wright has refereed over 300 professional fights.
Dimitrenko expressed concerns before the fight about home town decisions.
He maintained that in the aftermath of the loss - just the third of his 41-fight pro career - and suggested Parker would meet a similar fate if he faced Anthony Joshua for the world title in London.
"As I said before, those who pay for the music, play the music. That has happened here and it will happen in London as well."