Brian Minto, the man who effectively ended Shane Cameron's professional career, has asked for a neutral referee for his fight against Joseph Parker in July and his wish is likely to be granted.
A jetlagged but amiable Minto arrived for his press conference announcing the fight against New Zealand heavyweight Parker in Auckland yesterday only to be accused of being a "dirty fighter" by promoter Dean Lonergan because of the tactics the American employed in his impressive victory over Kiwi Cameron in December last year.
In that fight at Trusts Stadium, New Zealand referee Lance Revill deducted a point in the fifth and sixth rounds for the use of the elbow and head respectively. Cameron, heavily bleeding above his left eye, did not start the eighth round.
Parker's trainer Kevin Barry, who was in Minto's corner for the Cameron bout, also has concerns about the fighter's tendency to use his head and elbows in close contact.
However, the American said he never resorted to dirty tactics, suggesting his chances of getting a fair go from a New Zealand referee were diminishing by the second.
"He's painting the picture that I'm a dirty fighter," Minto said of Lonergan. "Every little thing that looks like an infraction he [the referee] is going to take a point. And this is what I don't like - they're going to keep me from fighting my fight. When I get to the inside I'm always going to use shoulders, and my head, but if they take that away then ...
"Look, they're risking everything and they even said it. Deep waters - is Joseph ready for deep waters? We'll soon find out."
David Higgins, a colleague of Lonergan's at Duco, later said he was "relaxed" about the refereeing issue.
"We'll probably look to fly someone in from overseas."
Barry's concerns about Minto's style have been heightened by the cuts Parker suffered around his left eye in his last two fights against Afa Tatupu and, most recently, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento in Germany.
"That's definitely not to be taken lightly," Barry said. "It is serious, especially when you've had a cut like Joseph had against King Afa and then opening up a bit in that last fight. We can't afford to have three fights in a row with cuts and yet we're up against a guy who cuts a lot of his opponents by the way he fights. This is Joseph's most important test and he has to follow the programme and stay in control of his distance and if he doesn't then there's every chance he's going to get cut."