Parker ref­eree wor­thy of worry

The Southland Times - - SPORT - DUN­CAN JOHN­STONE

English ref­eree Terry O’Con­nor was once likened to leg­endary rob­ber Dick Turpin for his de­ci­sion to award Tyson Fury a Bri­tish heavy­weight ti­tle win.

O’Con­nor has been named to con­trol Joseph Parker’s WBO world heavy­weight ti­tle de­fence against Hughie Fury in Manch­ester on Septem­ber 24 (NZT).

Parker’s pro­mot­ers Duco Events have cried foul, say­ing they have a con­tract that states neu­tral of­fi­cials should han­dle the fight but the Bri­tish Box­ing Board of Con­trol are stand­ing by O’Con­nor.

Duco pointed out that O’Con­nor has han­dled Hughie Fury’s last two fights but it’s his his­tory with cousin Tyson Fury that may be more alarm­ing.

In 2009 O’Con­nor handed Tyson Fury a points win over fel­low Brit John Mc­Der­mott in a de­ci­sion that drew out­rage.

O’Con­nor was the ref and sole judge and ruled 98-92 to Fury. The Guardian’s re­spected box­ing cor­re­spon­dent Kevin Mitchell la­belled the ver­dict ‘‘one of the worst ever wit­nessed’’.

‘‘There are bad de­ci­sions in box­ing and there are mon­u­men­tal er­rors - such as the di­a­bol­i­cal ver­dict Terry O’Con­nor handed down to John Mc­Der­mott in Brent­wood when Tyson Fury clearly got away with a rob­bery of the high­way va­ri­ety,’’ Mitchell wrote.

Mc­Der­mott’s pro­moter Frank Maloney con­tin­ued the high­way rob­bery theme, say­ing: ‘‘I’m sure I will be called up be­fore the (Bri­tish Box­ing) Board for my be­hav­iour but Terry O’Con­nor is a dis­grace to Bri­tish box­ing for what he’s done here tonight.

‘‘Why do I want to be in the busi­ness when you’re get­ting robbed? At least Dick Turpin has a mask on when he robs you.’’

The Bri­tish Box­ing Board of Con­trol in­ves­ti­gated the de­ci­sion. They de­cided not to ban O’Con­nor but or­dered a re­match. Fury won by knock­out in the ninth round.

In 2011, Ricky Burns’ man­ager Alex Mor­riosn protested the ap­point­ment of O’Con­nor as a judge for his WBO su­per­feath­er­weight ti­tle fight against Nicky Cook.

O’Con­nor had been in­volved in a con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion as John Simp­son lost his Bri­tish feath­er­weight ti­tle on points to Com­mon­wealth cham­pion Steven Smith with O’Con­nor’s scor­ing out of kil­ter with the two other judges.

‘‘I can’t be­lieve that he’s been se­lected for this fight af­ter what’s hap­pened in the past,’’ Mor­ri­son said. ‘‘Simp­son’s fight with Smith was close and if he’d gone a point ei­ther way then no-one would have com­plained but to give it to Smith by six rounds was em­bar­rass­ing. Th­ese de­ci­sions go back as far as 1999 when Brian Carr was robbed of the Bri­tish ban­tamweight ti­tle when O’Con­nor scored for Eng­land’s Pa­trick Mullings in a fight that Brian clearly won.’’

Terry O’Con­nor

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