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Joshua vs Parker: Mind games. Dirty tactics. Unfair advantages. Biased organisers… We’re talking heavyweight boxing. Not Brexit.

A look behind the curtain at Joshua vs Parker ahead of a documentary to be aired on July 2nd.

By Lawrence Ward   - @intuboxing

WBA, IBF, WBO & IBO world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua’s team’s attempts to unsettle Joseph Parker before their heavyweight unification bout in Cardiff in March of this year are soon to be revealed in a dramatic tell-all documentary.

Joseph Parker: Metamorphosis will air on Sky Sports on Monday 2nd July 2018. The intriguing footage captured includes a scene in which a member of Joshua’s camp complains about the way Kevin Barry is wrapping Parker’s hands.

The film also sheds light on the bizarre behaviour of Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone, who is shown struggling to understand Barry's pre-fight questions and, quite strangely, asks for a picture with Parker before the bout… Leaving team Parker in complete bemusement.

The Instagramming Italian ref would go on to give a very frustrating account of himself. Repeatedly stopping the shorter Parker from fighting on the inside. Massively aiding AJ’s dealings as he has a great reach advantage. Quartarone’s antics did not please the fans as many in attendance were expecting another AJ KO for the highlight reel.


Minutes before Parker's scheduled ringwalk, Team 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-Zealander’s wraps.

"What's that actually made of? I personally think he's not going to let you use that," states Joshua’s representative.

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 "Is your English good?"

"English? A little" is Quartarone's shady reply. Despite Matchroom gaffer Hearn’s assurance that Quartarone was fluent in the English language…

"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. Despite this being the Italian’s first major heavyweight bout.

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

Further to this, Barry's son, Taylor, who was in Team Joshua's dressing room inspecting his wraps, complains about the Englishman manipulating his gloves, a potentially illegal act which he had 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 Sky Sports documentary will no doubt be interesting viewing. Although it sheds light on the shady pre-fight dealings of the Matchroom team, the documentary Is reported to be an upbeat account of Parker’s preparation for the heavyweight showdown.

Parker intends to return to the top of Heavyweight boxing as he faces ever improving Dillian Whyte at London’s 02 on July 28th.