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Haumono boxing protest 'showbiz': referee

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/07/2016
<p>Joseph Parker</p> © Getty Images

Joseph Parker

Veteran Kiwi boxing referee Bruce McTavish says protests following Joseph Parker's knock-out victory over Solomon Haumono are no more than "the showbiz of boxing".

The unbeaten Parker, from New Zealand, made it 20 professional wins by knocking down the 40-year-old former Australian NRL player with a crisp upper-cut midway through Thursday's fourth round.

However the result was disputed by Haumono's coach Justin Fortune, who alleged McTavish did not count to 10 before declaring a knock-out.

McTavish, 76, was upset Fortune would impugn his professionalism.

The Philippines-based referee has controlled 383 pro fights, including some involving Manny Pacquiao.

He was named WBC referee of the year in 2013 and 2015.

"Any part of the body except the soles of your feet, and it is a knock down," McTavish told reporters.

"My reputation is something that's been earned and I respect the sport so there's no way I would've cheated."

He encouraged sceptics to listen back to tapes of the fight for confirmation he counted to 10.

Fortune said on Thursday that McTavish's verdict was unfair as Haumono was stable on his feet after eight seconds and clearly ready to fight on.

"The count wasn't clear, it wasn't loud, it wasn't precise," Fortune said.

"It's not that we're sore losers.

"It's the fact that he actually got it wrong."

McTavish said he was unsure how long the protest would take but felt it was no more than a ploy.

"He's got to defend his players, that's part of the showbiz of boxing," he said.

"He changed his mind for the press."

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