British Boxing Board of Control won't back down over controversial referee appointment for Parker, Fury fight

Parker's team should've raised the issue earlier, says BBBoC secretary Smith.
Parker's team should've raised the issue earlier, says BBBoC secretary Smith. Photo credit: Photosport

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) won't back down on their decision to appoint British referee Terry O'Connor for next weekend's world title fight between their man Hughie Fury, and Kiwi champ Joseph Parker.

Drama has unfolded since Parker's camp revealed an ongoing battle between the local board and governing body the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) - who insist the appointment is against their rules.

O'Connor has controlled Fury's last two fights and has some history with his more renowned cousin, former WBO champion Tyson Fury. In 2009 O'Connor handed Tyson Fury a points win over fellow British fighter John McDermott in a decision that drew outrage.

But BBBoC general secretary Robert Smith's spoke to RadioLIVE's Brendan Telfer and explained their side of the story, saying that he's frustrated Parker's promoters, Duco Events, didn't raise the issue earlier.

"When contests take place in the United Kingdom we have a British referee, a British judge, a judge from where the opposing boxer comes from and another judge from another country," said Smith.

"We appoint the referee, the British judge and then the sanctioning body will appoint the other two officials and this has always been the case.

"There are times where we are asked to consider our policy and we have a discussion a month before things are announced and we will discuss and decide what we should do.

"In this case we had no notification from the promoter. It was only when the officials were announced we had a notification from Mr Parker's team. We still hadn't had a notification from the promoter in Great Britain but we certainly listened and considered an appeal."

Smith is disappointed with the Parker camp and the way they have handled the situation.

"We don’t think the appointment of Mr O'Connor is the issue, I think the appointment of a British referee was the major issue and if we receive anything from the British promoter we will consider it.

"But I don't think the way the Parker team have gone around it is the right way to do it.

"This should have been dealt with a long time ago and it hasn't been done so we are looking at things in a different light.

"This is a good fight, a championship fight and we shouldn’t be where we are now."