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Dillian Whyte: The referee for Joshua-Parker fight was terrible

By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte says the referee that worked the Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker fight ruined it last Saturday night. The referee prevented both fighters from fighting on the inside, which helped Joshua far more than Parker.


Joshua ultimately prevailed in the contest in winning a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

With Parker unable to fight on the inside due to the referee, the fight wound up as a jabbing contest, which was won by the taller 6’5” Joshua, who had the longer reach and the better jab of the two. Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) tried to attack at times to get to Joshua, but he couldn’t land more than a few shots before the action was stymied by the referee pulling him away from Joshua. I lost track of how many times I saw he referee break up the action on the inside. I counted 8 times that the referee broken the action in the first 3 rounds, and then after that, I stopped counting, because it was a joke. Parker had no chance of winning him being stuck fighting Joshua from the distance.

It’s interesting that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was quiet about the referee afterwards. You would think that Hearn would have said something about it, because it was such a huge part of Joshua’s win. When you have a referee that changes the complexion of a fight, you’ve got to at least comment on it.

“It was alright. It wasn’t one of his best performances,” Dillian Whyte said to IFL TV about Joshua’s fight against Parker. “Parker was very negative tonight. He boxed on his back foot the whole time. He didn’t really take a chance. It was a good workmanlike fight. The referee was [expletive] terrible. The referee ruined the fight for both fighters. Sometimes come to survive. He found a way to win and got the victory,” Whyte said.


The referee looked like had hadn’t trained properly to realize that inside fighting is permitted. Referees are supposed to allow both fighters to battle on the inside as long as one of the two is throwing punches. Last night, the referee was stopping both guys even with them throwing shots. It just happened that Joshua was usually getting the worst of it, and that made it look to a lot of boxing fans that the referee was assisting him in the fight rather than Parker.

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Once the referee made it clear with his actions that there was not going to be any inside fighting allowed, Parker was stuck fighting at range against a guy that had a considerable reach advantage against him in Joshua. The fight was given to Joshua at that point. Parker looked like he was fighting 2 people inside the ring last night – Joshua and the referee. With Joshua’s 6 inch reach advantage, Parker had no chance of winning the fight once the referee took away his ability to fight on the inside.

Joshua’s last two fights have now been marred by controversy involving referees. Before last night’s fight, Joshua’s fight against Carlos Takam ended with the referee stopping the fight prematurely in the 10th round and giving AJ a knockout victory. Takam had been briefly stunned by Joshua from a right hand, but he was still fighting back at the time the referee stepped in and called a halt to the fight in the 10th. That fight too took place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

I’m not sure why Joshua keeps having strange fights involving referees when he competes at the Principality Stadium. What was interesting is that after the fight last night, Joshua ruled out him fighting in the U.S in the future. He said that they want to fight him, they got to come to Cardiff.

Joshua might not have too many takers after last night. It’s possible that even if the referee had done his job and allowed Parker to fight on the inside, he might have still lost the fight. Still, the referee should have let the fight play out in a normal way instead preventing inside fighting and forcing Parker to battle on the outside against Joshua. Parker wasn’t going to ever beat Joshua fighting at a distance given his long reach advantage.

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Joshua got away with grabbing Parker’s head and pulling it down so he could try and hit him with uppercuts. The referee failed to do anything about that trick by Joshua. The referee also did nothing after Joshua threw a wild uppercut on the break in the 6th round. It was so blatant that Joshua should have been penalized.

”Surprise, surprise, surprise,” Whyte said about WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder choosing not to come to Cardiff last Saturday. “I knew he wouldn’t come. He didn’t want that smoke. He didn’t want it. Eddie [Hearn] said it publically and said it to me.”

Whyte wanted Deontay Wilder to come to Cardiff obviously so he could try and hype a fight against him, but he wasn’t interested in wasting his time on that low level fight. Wilder only wanted to come to Cardiff to hype a fight against Joshua, which he wasn’t going to be allowed to do. As such, why would Wilder bother traveling all that ways to fly to the UK just so he could have the lesser fight against Whyte being pushed on him by Hearn? That would have been crazy for Wilder to do. If the shoe was on the other foot and Joshua flew all the way to the U.S to try and hype a fight with Wilder, he wouldn’t be happy if the Bronze Bomber’s management tried pushing heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki on him to try and get him to take that fight instead. If Joshua found out about that ahead of time, he surely wouldn’t bother flying over to the U.S. It’s the same situation with Wilder. He had nothing to gain by going to Cardiff last Saturday.

”I want the Povetkin fight,” Whyte said. ”Joshua needs a rest. I’ll fight Povetkin. I believe I’ll smash Povetkin to bits. If David [Price] had pressed more, and had more confidence in himself, he would have knocked Povetkin out. To beat Povetkin, you need a decent jab and decent defense. I’ve got a much bigger left hook than Price. When I land it against Povetkin, you’ll see. When I landed it last week, you saw what happened If I land it against Povetkin, it’ll be the same situation,” Whyte said.

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Whyte can forget about a fight against Povetkin because that is NOT going to happen. Povetkin is the World Boxing Association mandatory challenger for Joshua, and won’t bother fighting Whyte. The only way Whyte gets a fight against Povetkin is after he faces Joshua. Povetkin will likely be coming off of a loss to Joshua, and there won’t be anything Whyte can gain from fighting him.

”I’m going to let the WBC to enforce it and get on with it,” Whyte said about the Wilder fight. ”I’ll keep fighting. I want the WBC belt, but if they don’t want to enforce it and give me my shot, then I’ll have to go down another route. I’m not going to sit around and wait. I’m 29 now. I’m not getting any younger,” Whyte said.

Well, I hope Whyte doesn’t hold his breath waiting for the World Boxing Council to order Wilder to face him, because he could be waiting for a long time. Wilder has at least 1 year, possibly 2 years before he has to defend his WBC title against Whyte. That’s just the way it is. Whyte needs to forget about Wilder and stop wasting his breath talking about a fight that is 2 years away.

”When me and him get in the ring, it’s going to go off,” Whyte said about Joshua.

Joshua is the guy that Whyte will be facing long before he gets a title shot against Wilder. That’s the fight Whyte should be talking up, because it’s the only one that has a realistic chance of happening in the next two years.




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