British ref expected for AJ-Povetkin

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin will be refereed by a British official, promoter Eddie Hearn believes.

Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles will be on the line on September 22 at Wembley and discussions have already taken place about the referee.

“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,” Hearn said recently.

Joshua’s most recent victory against Joseph Parker in March was refereed by Italy’s Giuseppe Quartarone.

“No one was happy with the ref,” Parker’s promoter David Higgins fumed last month.

Hearn added: “[Parker’s team] wanted a neutral ref. We agreed to that. The refs are put forward, and the [British Boxing Board of Control] selected him. He is a very good ref – he has refereed world title fights and has never done anything controversial. When Joshua and Parker were scrapping on the inside, I thought a lot of the ref’s breaks were justified. But a couple weren’t.”

The BBBofC are responsible for selecting the officials for fights in Britain although, for world title bouts, a fighter’s team can request a non-British referee.

For example, Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko agreed to use officials from neutral countries for their Wembley showdown last year. The United States’ David Fields was selected as the referee.

Of Joshua’s six world title fights, three have included British referees. Belgium’s Jean-Pierre Van Imschoot was the third man in the ring when Joshua won Charles Martin’s IBF title.

“[Povetkin’s promoters] World of Boxing are happy with a British ref,” Hearn said.

“It will have to be approved by the Board. British refs are the best in the world.”

Povetkin’s recent knockout win against David Price in Cardiff was refereed by Britain’s Howard John Foster.

Dillian Whyte’s victory against Joseph Parker was refereed by Brit Ian John-Lewis, after the New Zealand visitor’s dissatisfaction at Quartarone’s performance in his fight with Joshua.