Today in Christchurch, New Zealand, unbeaten IBF mandatory heavyweight contender Joseph Parker scored a dominant 4th-round stoppage over a game Solomon Haumono. A right uppercut to the head floored Haumono in the 4th, the 40-year-old being halted after 95-seconds of the session. Parker is now 20-0(17) and he awaits his shot at IBF champ Anthony Joshua. Haumono falls to 24-3-2(21) but he and his team have launched a protest insisting he was the victim of a short count.
Parker was much the faster man, although Haumono certainly came to fight, having some success in the 3rd-rpound, when the two traded in exciting fashion. Then, in the 4th, a left jab followed by the right uppercut downed Haumono. Beating the count – and appearing to be up at “8” – Haumono saw referee Bruce McTavish wave the fight off.
“I was ready to go but unfortunately the referee decided to end it,” the defeated fighter said to Fox Sports . “I was fine, I was ready to go.”
Haumono’s trainer, former pro Justin Fortune, was furious.
“He was up on eight, they weren’t loud, they weren’t clear,” Fortune argued. “Bruce McTavish is a good referee, but come on. He comes back, and I thought he was coming to tell me the wraps were loose or something, [but] he told us the fight’s over. He clearly stood up on eight, it’s a world title eliminator, you can’t call fights like that.
It seems Haumono has at least something of a case. Timekeeper at the fight David Kettle told The Daily Telegraph how referee McTavish was late in picking up the count.
“We counted, one, two, three, and the referee came in with a seven, so he missed four seconds,” Kettle said. “The referee started in the wrong position, he should have started at four, but he started at seven.”
It seems unlikely the protest will lead to much; certainly Parker’s shot at Joshua seems safe. Haumono would almost certainly have been finished off had today’s bout been permitted to go on after he had got back up. Parker was in charge pretty much all the way and that fight with Joshua should be an exciting rumble.