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Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker: David Higgins concerned by UK's 'terrible officiating' ahead of heavyweight clash

Ahead of the Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker heavyweight clash, manager David Higgins warns, "we've had some officiating controversies in the UK"; Parker himself believes that he will be the first man to stop "the Juggernaut" Joyce

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Heavyweights, Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker are preparing for their fight on September 24 as they look to become the leading contender to fight Oleksandr Usyk

The officials judging Joseph Parker’s contest with Joe Joyce cannot let another controversy mar their heavyweight clash on Saturday, warns the New Zealander’s manager.

Former WBO world champion Parker, from South Auckland but training out of Morecombe, has enjoyed success in Britain before. He has beaten Hughie Fury and Dereck Chisora, while losing to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte previously in the UK.

But his manager David Higgins is concerned about the judging ahead of his bout with Joyce at the Manchester Arena this weekend.

Joseph Parker
Image: Joseph Parker believes he can handle Joyce

"We've had some officiating controversies in the UK. So each of Parker's big fights here have been marred by terrible officiating on UK soil. Even the last one against Chisora, despite knocking Chisora down I think three times, one of the British judges nearly had it as a draw," Higgins told Sky Sports.

Michael Alexander had scored that contest 114-112, far closer than the New Zealander's team would have considered fair.

"It was outrageous," Higgins continued. "We're a little bit mindful [in] this fight against Joyce. Joyce is tough and durable and if there are close rounds, we're looking to the judges to play straight bats and not let perception, bias or unconscious bias come into play. So we're just hoping we can get a fair go on UK soil.

"I want to say nothing against individual officials. They're all experienced and I've got no qualms with the experience of the potential officials," he continued. "I'm just hoping that that sort of subconscious bias on an opposition show doesn't come into play."

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If Parker could secure a knockout though then that would take the result out of the judges' hands.

As a professional though so far, Joe "the Juggernaut" Joyce has shown no sign of being dropped let alone stopped.

Joe Joyce
Image: Joe Joyce has never been defeated as a professional

"He's going to come into this fight full of confidence because he hasn't lost a fight. He's undefeated and he's only been the distance once. But I'm going to be the first man to [say,] 'Hey Joe, stop right there'. You're running into me and I'm going to give you your first loss," Parker told Sky Sports News.

"I'm going to beat him up. He's going to get frustrated because he can't catch me and I'm going to be too good for him. I'm going to move too fast for him, I'm going to have too much speed. I'm going to pick him apart and when Andy [Lee, his trainer] tells me the time is right, I'm going to get him out of there if I can. He's very tough and strong but if you keep taking these punches, eventually you're going to fall."

Parker is adamant his work with Andy Lee is going to pay dividends.

"When you put in the work and train hard, you have no worries going into fight night. There's no doubts and you're just full of confidence," he said.

"There are multiple weapons in my armoury now. Before I would say that I was a fighter who boxed and moved and was defensive and passive and didn't really push the action.

"Now I want to push the action. I'll be right there, standing there toe-to-toe and going at it. That's what I want to do.

"I can beat everyone in this division," he declared. "Just give me the opportunity and I'll beat everyone and I'll show that first with Joe Joyce."

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