MICHAEL ALEXANDER will be the third man inside the ring on Saturday night as George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr meet in the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight semi-finals.
The hugely experienced Doncaster referee will oversee his fifth fight this year and it signifies fight 955 for him.
As ever there is pressure on the referee in what is a thankless task, an early stoppage or wrong decision can put immense pressure on the man in the middle.
George Groves stated this week that he believes, because of the early stoppage to him back in his first super fight against Carl Froch in the same venue, that referees will be wary of stopping any of his fights early, due to the backlash Howard Foster faced in 2013.
This combined with comments made by Eubank Sr, reminding referees to do their job correctly after Nick Blackwell was hospitalised at the hands of his son, means Alexander has his work cut out on Saturday night.
He took charge of many high-profile fights last year, namely overseeing Gervonta Davis’ TKO victory over Britain’s Liam Walsh at the Copper Box Arena, as well as Lee Selby’s fourth defence of his IBF world featherweight title over Eduardo Ramirez.
Alexander will be more familiar with Eubank Jr having refereed three of his professional fights, most recently his win over Arthur Abraham at Wembley last year, as well as his loss to Billy Joe Saunders back in 2014 at the ExCel. He has overseen just one of Groves’ fights, which was his third professional fight against Paul Samuels, winning via TKO at the Echo Arena. He has however judged Groves, scoring him 119-110 on his card as he beat Eduard Gutknecht by unanimous decision.
He has however made headlines in the past through unfortunate circumstances. In 2011 he was rushed to hospital with a broken nose and a cut that required six stitches, after Reagan Denton accidentally head butted him as he avoided a Jody Meikle punch. A night the Doncaster man will want to forget, but a huge responsibility awaits him on Saturday in a major fight for British boxing.