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Haumono protests knockout loss to Parker

NZN 20/07/2016 By Daniel Gilhooly

Australian heavyweight boxer Solomon Haumono has launched a protest following his knockout loss to New Zealand's Joseph Parker in Christchurch.

Unbeaten Parker made it 20 professional wins in resounding fashion, knocking down the 40-year-old former rugby league international with a crisp upper-cut midway through Thursday's fourth round.

However, the result was slammed by Haumono's trainer Justin Fortune after veteran New Zealand referee Bruce McTavish ruled the former rugby league international hadn't made it back to his feet following a 10-count.

McTavish's decision drew no initial complaint from Haumono but former world heavyweight title challenger Fortune said it was blatantly unfair.

He believed Haumono was stable on his feet after eight seconds and was clearly fresh enough to fight on.

"The count wasn't clear; it wasn't loud; it wasn't precise. He was up at eight - it was as clear as a bell," Fortune said.

"It's not that we're sore losers. It's the fact that he actually got it wrong."

A protest was made shortly after the fight but McTavish had no idea how long it would take to hear the outcome.

McTavish, 76, has been based in the Philippines since 1967. He has controlled 383 pro fights, including some involving the great Manny Pacquiao and was named WBC referee of the year in 2013 and 2015.

Fortune has raised the prospect of a rematch against Parker, whose career pathway is winding towards a mandatory challenge for the IBF belt against British champion Anthony Joshua.

Parker's win was his 17th by knockout, inflicting just the third loss on Haumono in a 29-fight pro career.

Former NRL forward Haumono looked increasingly vulnerable against Parker's superior speed through the first three of 12 scheduled rounds.

The fight ended when heavy favourite Parker followed a left jab with a right upper cut which sent his Auckland-born opponent to the canvas.

The 24-year-old Kiwi appeared stiff at the outset and there was swelling under both eyes after being tagged by right-hand shots in the first round.

As was the case during his last-start win over classy Cameroon fighter Carlos Takam, Parker looked awkward on the ropes and had to be told several times to stay lower by trainer Kevin Barry.

Parker was thankful for some mid-fight advice from Barry about how to deal with Haumono's forward-moving approach.

"Kevin teaches many different combinations and he says that timing is everything. You have to pick your shots.

"I was slack on the jab but, when the jab started pumping in the fourth round, the openings started to come."

Barry was most impressed with his charge's upper cuts and body shots.

He said an announcement would be made on Tuesday about Parker's schedule, potentially revealing some details about the fight against Joshua.

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