In Cardiff's packed, raucous Principality Stadium, Joseph Parker traveled from New Zealand to take on the unified world-heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. Putting his own WBO title on the line, Parker was never really expected to disrupt Joshua's hitherto unbeaten record.
Having last fought the cousin of Tyson fury, Hughie, Parker's trip to Wales would mark his biggest fight to date. For Joshua, it was to be a challenge, but one that would purely serve to send him on his way toward being the undisputed champion of the division.
And so it started and finished in Cardiff; Joshua taking immediate control of the bout and leaving the fight beyond the reach of Parker.
However, for all the reason that this fight will be remembered as a step toward Joshua's run, the referee is garnering plenty of attention for his perceived ineptness.
World class amateur referee #Break #JoshuaParker
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) March 31, 2018
Referee on points for me.
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 31, 2018
Referee has been poor..🙄😒
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) March 31, 2018
My old headteacher at school allowed more fighting than this referee.#JoshuaParker
— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) March 31, 2018
Time called in round 9 to remove dangling tape from Joshua's glove. Ref let him call his own timeout! Horrible referee. https://t.co/cDT158G0zI
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) March 31, 2018
Impressed with Joshua’s feet & jab tonight. Negated Parker’s attack’s easily.
Ref in my opinion was poor, never let them work it out from the clinches which made for a slightly scrappy fight.
— Shane McGuigan (@McGuigans_Gym) March 31, 2018
Piss off Ref 🤪
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) March 31, 2018
Strange decision to appoint a football ref to officiate a boxing match. “Don’t raise your hands, lads, or I’ll have to send you off”. 🤔 #JoshuaParker
— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) March 31, 2018
The referee in the Joshua-Parker fight is bringing back memories of Leslie Nielsen behind home plate in The Naked Gun. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen a worse boxing ref.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 31, 2018
Continually stepping in anytime Joshua and Parker came close to one another, he is the talk of the fight.
The referee’s currently showing more aggressive intent than Joshua. Come on AJ, step it up a gear. 👊 #joshuaparker
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 31, 2018
This ref should patrol the streets of Cardiff later. He'd stop a few fights out there.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) March 31, 2018
This referee is horrible. #JoshuaVsParker
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) March 31, 2018
Wasn’t the best of fights, mostly due to the referee not letting the fight develop. But another great night for @anthonyfjoshua
— 𝙅𝙊𝙎𝙃 𝙕𝙀𝙍𝙆𝙀𝙍 (@ZerkaaHD) March 31, 2018
This referee will be getting more headlines than the fight. 😏 #JoshuaParker
— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) March 31, 2018
THE REFEREE IS TOO INVOLVED, WTF.
— Michelle Joy Phelps (@MichellePhelps) March 31, 2018
I said before the fight, the referee has done 82 fights. This is his 8th world title fight. He’s got there FAST! A top pro like Calzaghe would take years to get to referee a world title fight. Let alone this fight! Fishy.
— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithJnr) March 31, 2018
I’d like to see Parker given another shot with a different referee. Looked like a hard scrapper. Must be frustrated.
— Matt Lawton (@Lawton_Times) March 31, 2018