Anthony Joshua's attempts to unsettle Joseph Parker before their heavyweight unification bout in Cardiff have been revealed in a dramatic documentary.

In Joseph Parker: Metamorphosis, which will screen on Sky Sports for the first time a week on Monday, documentary-makers Gareth Thorne and Kerry Russell film a member of Joshua's camp complaining about the way trainer Kevin Barry is wrapping Parker's hands.

The film also reveals the eccentric behaviour of Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone, who is shown struggling to understand Barry's pre-fight questions and, bizarrely, asks for a picture with Parker, much to the bemusement of Barry and the rest of the team.

Quartarone would go on to have a major say over the 12 rounds when refusing to let the shorter Parker engage on the inside with Joshua, who also had a big reach advantage. In the immediate aftermath of the fight Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn insisted the Italian could speak excellent English but the documentary shows otherwise.


With time ticking down to Parker's scheduled appearance in the Principality Stadium ring, Barry and Parker's routine is thrown into disarray when a member of Joshua's camp complains about the type of tape being used on the New Zealand-Samoan's wraps.

"What's that actually made of? I personally think he's not going to let you use that," the man says.

Parker says: "I know that the guy from Joshua's camp has a problem with the wrap or has a problem with some sort of tape that we have.

"I don't really worry what's happening," he adds. "I trust in my team. For me, I stay on task, stay focused, just relax."

A British Boxing Board of Control official is shown commenting: "Just because you got away with it the last time", before Parker's promoter David Higgins says: "What do you mean 'got away with it'?

"We've fought 24 fights the same way around the world and against Anthony Joshua it's the first time [a complaint has been made]. It's not us trying to get away with anything."

Robert Smith, the head of the British Boxing Board of Control, has the final say: "I can see no advantage… so as long as it goes on top I'm happy."

Higgins says: "There are lots of little moments like that where it could go one way or the other. It's all psychological. It could be that Joshua wanted to change our routines on the home straight."

Earlier, referee Quartarone is asked by Barry in meeting: "Is your English good?"

"English? A little," is Quartarone's reply.

"When they work in close, what are you going to let them do? Are you going to let them work in close?

"If they hold are you going to break it up? What are you going to do?

Quartarone says: "Clinch, break, step back. I'm sorry, I don't understand."

"It's going to make it very difficult for me to be able to ask these questions then isn't it?" says Barry.

"He's a world class referee, he knows what he's doing," a British official says.

Barry says: "I need to know this, okay? You can't just come in and walk out. I need to know."

Later, Barry's son, Taylor, who was in Joshua's dressing room inspecting his wraps, complains about the Englishman manipulating his gloves, a potential illegal act which he has seen on a television monitor.

"This changes the fight," Taylor Barry tells the interviewer. "Him squeezing and pushing on the padding on the glove so there's no padding – that's f****** cheating."

Kevin Barry confronts an official: "Are you going to allow him to keep doing that to the gloves?

Official: "No, no, no Kevin, of course not."

Barry: "Did you say anything at the time?"

Official: "I didn't see it at the time."

The intriguing exchanges shed a light on the murky practices of Joshua's camp, but overall the documentary is a positive portrayal of the changes Parker embraced to get himself in peak physical and mental condition for the fight of his life.

The 26-year-old lost the fight on points but won plenty of new supporters for the way he conducted himself before and after and the fact he is the only man to go the distance with Joshua.

It is entertaining viewing, which, while it touches on the potentially distressing news that Parker's younger brother, John, had been diagnosed with a brain aneurism as revealed by the Herald, it finishes on an upbeat note, with Joseph setting out his commitment to return to the top of boxing's heavyweight elite.

Joseph Parker: Metamorphosis first screens on Sky Sports 3 on Monday, July 2, at 8.30pm.