By Keith Idec
Joseph Parker’s trainer has demanded that the British Boxing Board of Control assign “a fair referee” to his upcoming fight against Dillian Whyte.
New Zealand’s Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) and London’s Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) are scheduled to meet in a 12-round heavyweight fight July 28 at O2 Arena in London.
Kevin Barry, Parker’s trainer, made it clear upon their arrival Tuesday in the United Kingdom that Parker’s team is still displeased with how Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone officiated Parker’s 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Anthony Joshua on March 31 in Cardiff, Wales.
Parker and his handlers feel Quartarone took a heavy-handed approach to that heavyweight title unification fight and didn’t allow Parker to work inside against England’s Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs).
“All we want is, we want a fair referee,” Barry told Sky Sports on Tuesday. “We want one of the best referees that BBBofC can offer. I think we’ve been pretty hard done by in our first two previous fights here in the UK by the referee. So this time I would like to think they will give us a classy guy. Someone who won’t be an interference for the fight, someone who will let the fight go. I tell you what – there are plenty of good British referees. Let’s choose one of them.”
London’s Marcus McDonnell was the referee for Parker’s WBO title defense against England’s Hughie Fury. Parker defeated Fury (21-1, 11 KOs) by majority decision September 23 in Manchester.
Robert Smith, the general secretary for the British Boxing Board of Control, informed Sky Sports that the referee and judges have not yet been assigned to the Parker-Whyte fight.
“We’re just dealing with it now,” Smith said. “We’re just finalizing all the officials now.”
The 26-year-old Parker downplayed this issue Tuesday, but it’s obviously a cause for concern for the former WBO champion and his team.
“I believe my team will take care of it,” Parker said. “I always trust my team and I think from the last fight, and the experience we had with that, they will definitely correct it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.