Eddie Hearn says there will be a British referee on September 22 at Wembley Stadium when Anthony Joshua defendshis IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles against WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, saying that Povetkin’s team are fine with the idea, and have not requested a referee from a neutral country.
“It will be an English ref. We’re looking at an English ref with that fight because they’re some of the best in the world. ... [Povetkin’s promoters] World of Boxing are happy with a British ref. It will have to be approved by the Board. British refs are the best in the world.”
Joshua (21-0, 20 KO) and Joseph Parker were given Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone in March, after Parker’s side did request a neutral official. Quartarone’s performance was widely panned, though luckily none of his questionable work really impacted the outcome of the fight or anything.
But if Povetkin (34-1, 24 KO) and his team are happy with a qualified local referee — and there are plenty available in the United Kingdom — then that’s just fine.