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

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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 was passionate about the issue at yesterday's press conference.
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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.

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.

Duco Events' David Higgins was escorted away from his fighter's press conference.
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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.

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

Duco Events boss David Higgins stole the show at this morning's press conference.
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"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.

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

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

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