Dillian Whyte has aimed a fresh dig at Joseph Parker by claiming the referee spared him from suffering a knockout defeat to Anthony Joshua.

The New Zealander’s promoter has raised concerns about the officials for the upcoming clash with Whyte on July 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office, after being incensed by the performance of referee Giuseppe Quartarone in Parker’s points loss to Joshua in March.

But Whyte insists Parker should be grateful to Quartarone for preventing Joshua from landing his punches at close quarters.

Both of them fought completely different, said Whyte, when asked about the Joshua-Parker fight.

Parker was on the back foot, he’s usually a come-forward fighter, and Joshua wasn’t able to cut him off and close him down as much as he would have liked to, because they were both happy and content. Parker was happy and content to lose, Joshua was happy and content to pick up the win.

Their styles didn’t really gel. The referee didn’t help the situation, but I believe the referee actually helped Joseph Parker out, because had he allowed them to fight on the inside, I reckon Joshua would have won by KO.

Joshua has confirmed that his next two fights will be staged at Wembley Stadium, with the WBA mandatory challenger expected to be the first opponent on September 22.

Whyte could propel himself into contention for a rematch with Joshua if he defeats Parker in style, although he is not looking too far ahead towards the other date of April 13.

Well, a fight with me and Anthony Joshua is always a phone call away, said Whyte. It can happen next fight, two fights from now, who knows?

But I’ve got bigger things to focus on right now and it’s Joseph Parker, so I’m focusing on that. After the 29th of July, I’ll start screaming from the roof about a fight. But now I’ve got Joseph Parker to focus on.

It’s a big challenge, so I’m completely focusing on cutting him down, and hacking him to bits on the night.

Dillian Whyte against Joseph Parker is at The O2 on Saturday July 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

(c) Sky News 2018: Whyte vs Parker: Joseph Parker was spared KO loss to Anthony Joshua by referee, says Dillian Whyte