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Parker-Fury ref row rumbles on

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 18/09/2017

Referee Terry O'Connor's inclusion was debated between Joseph Parker (pictured) and Hughie Fury's teams. © Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge Referee Terry O'Connor's inclusion was debated between Joseph Parker (pictured) and Hughie Fury's teams. Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury’s teams continued their debate over the appointment of referee Terry O’Connor at Monday’s press conference.

New Zealander Parker will put his WBO heavyweight title on the line in Fury's hometown of Manchester this weekend, so the British Boxing Board of Control's decision to include a local referee has caused a stir.

The BBBofC had previously rejected complaints from Parker's promoter, David Higgins, telling Sky Sports: "Our standard policy is to have a British referee, a British judge, an official from the country where the boxer is coming from and another from a neutral country [on the judging panel]."

Peter Fury, Hughie's father and trainer, addressed Higgins' complaint on Monday by angrily saying: "Is he insinuating that I've got the BBBofC, one of the most respected groups in world boxing, in my pocket? I've got no interest in a referee or a judge.

"The politics of boxing; people get carried away. The fight is on. They're here, and the fight is happening.

"I want my son to win a world title with no hidden agendas."

© Getty Mick Hennessey, the Furys' promoter, reiterated: "In all contracts, the local commission will override anything agreed between the promoters. We've got no sway."

Parker's trainer Kevin Barry empathised with Higgins' complaints, saying: "I can understand David's frustration. He is our promoter, responsible for the contract in place. He thought we would have neutral officials and I know he is frustrated.

"Myself and Joseph have no concerns. We've come here for one reason and that is for Joseph to defend his world title.

"We've waited a long time to campaign in the UK and the timing is perfect. Right now, I believe Joseph is at his best."

Asked if the ongoing row had affected preparations, Parker said: "It's very easy [to ignore] because I have a great team that deal with the noise. My job is to focus on boxing. There's no excuses."

Parker's trainer Barry added: "It hasn't been difficult at all because we've focused on one thing."

Unbeaten duo Parker and Fury both promised knockout victories at an occasionally fraught press conference which flared up when Higgins, Parker's promoter, drew an irate response from Peter Fury and was then led off by security.

Luke Campbell challenges for Jorge Linares' world title on Sunday morning, 2am, live on Sky Sports Action & Main Event.

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