Watch: Composed David Higgins announces ref change for Parker's fight with Fury - 'We've been offered a compromise'

A much calmer David Higgins has announced this morning that the referee for Joseph Parker's WBO title defence against Hughie Fury this weekend has been changed.

The Duco Events boss made scenes yesterday during a press conference for the Sunday morning (NZT) bout over issues of a non-neutral referee officiating the fight.

Duco Events' David Higgins was escorted away from his fighter's press conference. Source: 1 NEWS

British referee Terry O'Connor was originally set to control the fight in Manchester having also officiated for Fury, a British fighter, in his past two fights as well.

But the British Boxing Board of Control [BBBoC] has agreed to a compromise and instead handed the fight to fellow British official Marcus McDonnell while O'Connor becomes one of the fight's three judges instead.

O'Connor is joined by two Americans.

Duco Events boss David Higgins stole the show at this morning's press conference. Source: 1 NEWS

It still leaves the issue of a non-neutral referee for the bout but Higgins said he was happy O'Connor had been removed.

"There has been a lot of drama about the officials for this fight and quietly behind the scenes we have been writing good letters to the organisations and we have been offered a compromise by the BBBoC which we will accept," Higgins said.

"[It's not ideal] but it's good ... at least the referee is not the same guy that did Hughie's last two fights. I'm really happy and relieved that change has been made. I think it's an OK outcome.

Mick Hennessy said "stop acting amateurs and get on with the fight, you've got your money." Source: 1 NEWS

"Regardless, the officials are going to be under a lot of scrutiny anywhere because of all the fuss."

Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, agreed.

"I applaud the British Boxing Board for listening to David Higgins. I think Dave did a really good job of getting the ref changed," Barry said.

"We don't have neutral officials but we did not like the referee that we had, so onward now for the 23rd."

The Duco Events boss was passionate about the issue at yesterday's press conference. Source: 1 NEWS



'You tapped the glass window' - Conor McGregor mocks UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov about bus attack

Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor has finally faced off with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in New York, with neither fighter holding back in a war of words during a press conference in New York today.

Nurmagomedov criticised McGregor's ground game and fitness inside the octagon.

"I think I am going to make him tired," said Nurmagomedov.

"When he is tired he always gives up."

The two are set face off for the UFC lightweight title on October 7 in Las Vegas.

He also mocked McGregor's move to boxing where he lost by TKO against Floyd Mayweather Jr last year.

"When you move to box(ing) he tapped there. You tap like chicken."

The 30-year-old Irish star was quick to fire back, mocking Nurmagomedov for his reaction during his bus attack in April, where he threw a steel dolly at a bus full of UFC fighters in Brooklyn.

"You tapped the bus window," said McGregor.

The former lightweight and featherweight UFC champ agreed to a plea deal with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office in July, which allowed him to avoid a criminal record.

"I'll tap your head off the canvas."

McGregor has an MMA record of 21 wins and three losses, with Nurmagomedov unbeaten in 26 bouts.

The outspoken Irish fighter hasn't fought since November 2016, where he became the first double champion in the UFC after defeating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight strap at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Khabib and other UFC stars were on a bus in Brooklyn in April when Conor threw a steel dolly at the window. Source: UFC


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Former UFC champion Jon Jones to return to the octagon after 15-month doping suspension

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should be eligible to fight by late October after completing a 15-month suspension for a doping violation.

The US Anti-Doping Agency today announced the length of Jones' ban for his second violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy.

The decision means the 31-year-old Jones could even fight at UFC 230 in New York on November 3, if the UFC decides to book his comeback bout on that card.

Jones is widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world, but he has repeatedly sabotaged his own career.

He reclaimed the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier last year, but the victory was taken away when he tested positive for a steroid metabolite.

Jones also failed an out-of-competition test in 2016.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  (L-R) Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Center on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. Source: Getty


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Watch: Sonny Bill joins daughters in comical Rocky Balboa inspired training video for upcoming bout

Sonny Bill Williams has called in the help of his daughters, Aisha and Imman, to promote his return to the boxing ring in December, with the star posting a hilarious Rocky Balboa inspired training video on social media today.

The cross-code star will fight Australian millionaire Stu Laundy on December 1, in a charity event to fundraise money for the homeless in New Zealand and Australia.

The 33-year-old All Black posted on his Instagram account today a video of him squatting with one daughter on his arm and another on his shoulders.

He also performs sit-ups while feeding his kids in the video.

"I'm back in the ring Dec 1st - Fighting for those who happen to be a bit down on their luck and are homeless in Aotearoa and Australia. It's an honour to be part of this special event ❤️," posted Williams.

He's in line to make his Test rugby return against the Pumas in Argentina next Sunday, after three months out following a shoulder injury against France.

The cross-code star is set to step back into the ring in December in a charity event for the homeless. Source: Instagram/ sonnybillwilliams


North and South Korea confirm joint bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement today that the countries planned to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

At a major summit, the two leaders gave no details of which cities might host certain events at the games, or how advanced the plans were.

The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games. That would give the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid.

Germany has already announced plans for a multi-city bid for 2032, as has Brisbane, Australia. The India Olympic Committee has also indicated its interest in hosting the 2032 Games.

A successful bid by the Koreas would mark the second time South Korea hosted or co-hosted the Summer Games, the first being 1988 in Seoul. South Korea also hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February.

Asia also features in the next two Olympics — the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, which also hosted the summer version in 2008.

The joint statement today also said the Koreas would look to cooperate in major sports events such as the 2020 Games, also without elaborating.

South Korean President Moon Jae In (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take part in a pine tree planting ceremony in the border village of Panmunjeom on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool) (Kyodo)
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(Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae In took part in an historic meeting in April. Source: Getty


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