THE judges’ names have been released for Saturday’s World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-final at the Manchester Arena as George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr go head to head.
One of those is Howard Foster, the man who stopped the first Groves-Froch fight in the same venue back in 2013. He came under heavy scrutiny following the fight, which lead to a rematch due to the controversial nature of the stoppage (there was no doubt about the rematch though as Froch knocked out Groves with that devastating right).
He and Groves have history following the Froch fight, the Hammersmith fighter unsuccessfully lost appeals against having Foster as a referee for his fight against David Brophy, a fight he went on to win.
Still an interesting subplot to pay attention to, he also judged Groves’ WBSS quarter-final fight against Jamie Cox last year at Wembley Arena.
The other judges are Steve Gray and Marcus McDonnell.
Gray has made a name for himself over the years as a top referee, earning the responsibility of overseeing the Anthony Joshua–Eric Molina fight for the IBF world heavy weight title in 2016.
The Fleetwood man comes off the back of the Lawrence Okolie–Isaac Chamberlain scrap at the beginning of the month at the O2, as well as Groves’ win over Fedor Chudinov for the WBA world super-middleweight title at Bramall Lane last year.
Marcus McDonnell has also refereed some high-profile fights, namely Joseph Parker’s win over Hughie Fury in Manchester last year. He also oversaw Eubank Jr’s TKO win over Tom Doran at the O2 in 2016, stepping in for a TKO stoppage.
He was a judge for Lee Selby’s win over Eduardo Ramirez when Michael Alexander, the man refereeing on Saturday night, was in charge. He scored his card 119-109 in favour of the Welshman.
Three capable men for Saturday’s semi-final, their scorecards will be all-important if the fight goes the full 12 rounds. That, perhaps, might be unlikely.