Joseph Parker's promoter reassured by BBBofC after scathing assessment of officiating in Britain
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 10/07/18 11:09am
Joseph Parker's promoter David Higgins has raised concerns about officials for the Dillian Whyte fight in a scathing assessment of the officiating on past trips to Britain.
Parker is preparing for his crucial heavyweight clash with Whyte at The O2 on July 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office, as the Kiwi makes a swift return to these shores after a points defeat to Anthony Joshua in March.
Higgins was unhappy with the selection of Italian Giuseppe Quartarone as the referee for the unification fight against Joshua in Cardiff, while the Duco Events boss had also questioned the choice of a British referee, prior to Parker's points win over Hughie Fury last September.
"We New Zealanders are very fair-minded people. We believe in a level playing field," Higgins told Sky Sports. "It's in our culture, we expect the same wherever we go.
"The British Board of Control is probably one of the most respected boxing commissions in the world.
"Twice we have come to the UK and twice the officiating has involved a level of disgrace.
"There is probably a handful of referees in the world, maybe half a dozen, four or six that are considered the best in the world. Everyone knows who they are, so why for a heavyweight unification [did] they choose an obscure Italian, who has mostly officiated lighter weights?
"It was appalling. He didn't let the boxers engage and fight properly.
"They are on notice. We would like to see the British Boxing Board of Control and the officials selected be competent, experienced, well-known professionals. Ideally neutral with a good track record. We hope that's not too much to ask."
Robert Smith, General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, has assured Higgins that Parker's fight with Whyte will be overseen by officials of the highest standard.
He told Sky Sports: "The British Boxing Board of Control will make the appropriate appointments in due course for a very important fight for both boxers, and the officials appointed will be world class."
Dillian Whyte against Joseph Parker is at The O2 on Saturday July 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office.