Joseph Parker's team have backed the performance by the referee following the New Zealand heavyweight's victory over Solomon Haumono in Christchurch last night.

The Australian's camp filed an official protest after the defeat, believing their fighter had beaten the count.

Haumono was knocked to the canvas in the fourth round at Horncastle Arena, seemingly counted out by referee Bruce McTavish. Although it was initially unclear whether a dazed Haumono had regained his feet before McTavish reached 10, Parker was soon awarded the 17th knockout win of a perfect 20-fight professional career.

But with the Kiwi having retained his mandatory challenger tag for the IBF heavyweight crown, Haumono's camp lodged a post-fight complaint. Unhappy with McTavish's count and thinking he could have continued, Haumono insisted he had been "robbed of an opportunity" with talk of a re-match.


Parker's promotor, Dean Lonergan of Duco Events told Martin Devlin on Radio Sport's The DRS thtat health and safety of a fighter is paramount.

"Solomon Haumono was dizzy and giddy last night. If the fight had gone on another 10-15 seconds and Joseph Parker was allowed to knock him out stone cold, he could have been seriously injured so I support what the referee did. Talk of a rematch is just bulls*** and it just ain't going to happen."

Read more: Parker knocks out Haumono with vicious uppercut

Haumono saw it differently.

"I believe I was forcing the fight, got caught with a shot, was regathering my thoughts and was ready to go on," Haumono said. "Unfortunately the referee seemed to think otherwise."

Trainer Justin Fortune was adamant his fighter had risen to his feet with the count still at eight, although he then acknowledged it was difficult to hear from his corner.

"The count wasn't clear, it wasn't loud or precise," Fortune said. "It's not because we're sore losers or anything like that, it's about the fact [the referee] actually got it wrong."

McTavish, naturally, strongly disagreed with that view, suggesting Fortune's complaints were "part of the show" of boxing. The experienced referee revealed he had enjoyed an amiable conversation with Fortune following the fight, in which any grievances went unspoken.

"He changed his mind, probably for the press - he's a businessman," McTavish said."

[Haumono] wasn't really hurt but he was semi-concussed. When I got to nine he had his knee on the ground and was looking at me like we were going to have a conversation. The conversation ended at 10."

• Kris Shannon is in Christchurch with assistance from Duco