Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: WBO officials dismiss Dimitrenko protest

WBO officials have dismissed Alexander Dimitrenko's protest after a controversial end to last night's fight. Photo / Photosport
WBO officials have dismissed Alexander Dimitrenko's protest after a controversial end to last night's fight. Photo / Photosport

Alexander Dimitrenko isn't likely to receive much sympathy from the boxing authorities after protesting that he was hit while down by Joseph Parker last night.

Dimitrenko, dropped once in the first round and twice in the second, failed to get up midway through the third round after being hit by the New Zealand heavyweight while he had a knee on the canvas.

The Ukraine, who was outclassed by the impressive Parker throughout their short fight at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre, complained afterwards and said he would make an official protest, but WBO Australia representative Danny Leigh felt Parker had little to worry about.

"I watched the fight live and on a replay and it looked to me as if Dimitrenko copped a flogging and was looking for a way out," Leigh told the Herald. "I don't think he fooled [referee] Marlon [Wright] in any way.

"In that regard I don't see it as a controversy. If the fight had been a competitive fight... but it wasn't like that. I saw it as a guy looking for a way out, he [referee] called him on it. The guy was rolling around like he was [a footballer] in a penalty box trying to get a penalty."

Leigh attended the fight but wasn't in a supervisory role and said he wasn't speaking in an official role. But in his opinion the fight, awarded to Parker by TKO, a result which extends the heavyweight's undefeated professional record to 21 victories, was clear-cut.

"He was bashed from pillar to post," Leigh said of the 2.01m Dimitrenko. "It wasn't a competitive fight. I think a controversy would be the other way. I think we were lucky to have a very competent and experienced professional, internationally, in there. A lesser referee might have been fooled.

"You can slow it down and ask did a punch land while he had a knee down, but in the heat of the moment he made the right decision. We were lucky to have Marlon there."

Wright, a Canadian, is a vastly experienced official, having refereed the recent Kell Brook v Gennedy Golovkin blockbuster in the United Kingdom.

"I back Marlon, the sole arbiter of the fight, and the way he called it," Leigh said.

Parker, the WBO and IBF No1, remains on track for a big-money world title fight with the victory screened to 53 countries around the world. He said immediately after the fight that he had trained for the grappling that Dimitrenko attempted and that he was unaware his opponent was on a knee when he hit him to the body with a powerful right hand for the last time.

When asked about the punch which finished the fight, trainer Kevin Barry: "Which one? Because I think he was finished when he [Parker] knocked him down in the first round. For me it was the end of the fight and it was just a matter of matter of time."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 26 Oct 2016 07:10:12 Processing Time: 220ms