Terry O’Connor out as Parker v Fury referee, Duco switch attention to judging change

Terry O’Connor will no longer be the third man in the ring for Joseph Parker v Hughie Fury but will remain involved as a judge for the fight.

Duco Boxing’s David Higgins, who promotes Parker, had been on a crusade for a neutral referee for the imminent world heavyweight title contest, even turning up at Monday’s press conference and giving Fury’s father and trainer Peter a piece of his mind.

The bold move seems to have worked – to a degree, as the British Boxing Board of Control have switched O’Connor to outside responsibilies with the scorecards.

It’s not all good news though, as another British official in Marcus McDonnell will now take over – which Higgins still sees as some sort of small victory.

“There has been a lot of drama about the officials for this fight and quietly behind the scenes we have been writing good letters to the organisations and we have been offered a compromise by the BBBoC which we will accept,” Higgins confirmed to stuff.co.nz.

“Is that ideal? Maybe not but look, it’s good … at least the referee is not the same guy that did Hughie’s last two fights. I’m really happy and relieved that change has been made. I think it’s an OK outcome

“I’d like to thank the BBBoC for taking that position. I think regardless, the officials are going to be under a lot of scrutiny anywhere because of all the fuss.”

O’Connor joins two American judges appointed for the WBO championship match-up, whilst Higgins would ideally like one of those US-based officials swapped for a New Zealander.

“If there is a Kiwi to offset the Brits, that would be fine,” said Higgins after writing to the WBO requesting the change.