11 Dec 2016

Parker fight divides boxing community

2:39 pm on 11 December 2016

Joseph Parker's victory over Andy Ruiz in Auckland has polarised the boxing community, with some esteemed voices claiming the 27-year-old Mexican was robbed.

Joseph Parker (left) and Andy Ruiz fight it out for the WBO world heavyweight title.

Joseph Parker, left, and Andy Ruiz fight it out for the WBO world heavyweight title in Auckland. Photo: Photosport

Parker has become the first New Zealand-born heavyweight champion, taking the World Boxing Organisation championship - one of four official heavyweight garlands - in a split points decision, 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114.

But Professional Boxing Association president Lance Revill said in his mind there was only one winner - and it wasn't the 24-year-old from South Auckland.

"We haven't got a heavyweight champion of the world. Andy Ruiz got ripped off last night big-time, and I feel sick in the guts to be a New Zealander after last night.

"I've got a lot of time for Joseph Parker - he's been to my gym, he's sparred with my amateur heavyweights - I'm not gonna piss in his pocket. [But] the guy cleaned him out.

"Something stinks in the whole set-up."

Lance Revill, president of the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association

Professional Boxing Association president Lance Revill: "Something stinks." Photo: Photosport

The fight's promoter, Duco, had lobbied both the government and Auckland City Council to raise the funds to stage the fight in Auckland, and Revill believed the home-town advantage was a decisive factor in Parker's victory.

But Sky boxing commentator Mike Angove said boxing was, by its nature, a divisive and subjective sport - and there was always going to be controversy following such a close bout.

"You had rounds that were clearly Ruiz's, and rounds that were clearly Parker's, and then you had swing rounds - and that's the subjective element of boxing.

"In close fights you're going to have controversy, you're going to have half the population agreeing and the other half disagreeing, and I think you've got that case here."

Dean Lonergan, whose company, Duco, promoted the fight, said Revill's judgment lacked nous.

Duco director Dean Lonergan.

Duco director Dean Lonergan: "Lance Revill hasn't got a clue." Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Lance Revill hasn't got a clue, and every time Lance says something the opposite is true. The guy's well past it and, quite frankly, he's an idiot."

Andy Ruiz - who would have become Mexico's first heavyweight champion, had he won - suggested afterwards he would seek a rematch, but Lonergan would not be drawn on whether that could happen, saying nothing was off the table.

He suggested a match-up between Parker and Hugh Fury - the cousin of controversial British heavyweight, Tyson Fury - was a more likely scenario.

Parker's next bout is expected to take place sometime in the middle of next year.

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