David Higgins, Joseph Parker’s manager: “We’re actually a lot more relaxed about it, because when Junior is lying on the floor, it doesn’t matter who the judges are.” Former WBO Champion takes on Fa on Saturday
By Richard Damerell
Last updated: 02/23/21 10:07 am
Joseph Parker has become embroiled in a heated argument with Junior Fa over the judges for this weekend’s heavyweight fight between rivals New Zealand.
The former WBO champion returns against Fa in Auckland on Saturday, but a row over officials was once again inflamed at their press conference.
Fa manager Mark Keddell suggested Parker would be favored by the Christchurch judges, a charge which was dismissed by opposing coach Kevin Barry.
“We have looked at the roster of judges,” Keddell said. “The Barry family are a very successful Christchurch family, and we just thought there were two boys from Auckland fighting, so we should have judges from Auckland.
“We felt pretty strongly about this.”
Fa coach Eugene Bareman joked, “We sure didn’t want Kevin’s mate from the pub to be one of the judges.”
Barry replied: “It’s pretty flattering what they say about my influence in Christchurch. I left Christchurch in 1992. I haven’t lived in Christchurch or New Zealand for almost three decades.
“The fact that I have all this influence with the officials in Christchurch is really laughable.”
Parker’s manager David Higgins has revealed he has made a ‘compromise’ and hopes the disagreement can be resolved before the fight.
“Dealing with Mark Keddell has been trickier than with Eddie Hearn or Bob Arum because it’s his big time to shine,” Higgins said.
“He’s the smartest man in the room. We’re actually a lot more relaxed about it, because when Junior is lying on the floor, it doesn’t matter who the judges are.”
A clash with Derek Chisora could be next for Parker, if he gets over Fa, and the 29-year-old intends to secure an emphatic victory.
“It’s no secret, to go into a fight, a fighter wants a knockout,” Parker said. “That’s what I’m going to look for. I think that’s what he’s going to look for too, but I know I have the power to knock him out.
“I want to have it early.”