Cape Town referee Deon Dwarte the third wheel in Anthony Joshua’s title fight
CAPE TOWN - South African referee Deon Dwarte will be the third man in the ring for Saturday night’s heavyweight world title clash between quadruple champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Kubrat Pulev at Wembley’s SSE Arena in London.
Cape Town resident Dwarte arrived in London last Friday and has been in quarantine at a local hotel to safeguard against infections in coronavirus-wrecked England. This will ensure that Dwarte will be fit and healthy to officiate at world boxing's blue riband event for 2020.
Saturday night's bout will mark Dwarte's debut as a heavyweight world title referee.
"I have never done (refereed) a heavyweight fight on this level," said Dwarte. "I have however refereed in the UK before. But heavyweight fights are hard to come by.
"I have judged two world heavyweight title fights in the past."
In 2016 Dwarte was one of three judges when Joshua defeated Eric Molina to lift the IBF world heavyweight title in Manchester Arena, Manchester.
Two years earlier, Dwarte was a judge for Wladimir Klitschko's title defence against Alex Leapai in Germany. Klitschko had four world straps on the line, including The Ring Magazine's title, on that occasion.
In what will be his third involvement in boxing's blue riband division, Dwarte will go one better from judge to referee.
"I am thrilled that I will be the referee, and this will be my first time at this venue," said Dwarte.
"I have seen Joshua in real-time action, and I have watched some of Kubrat Pulev's bouts on YouTube.
"As a referee, you do not necessarily have knowledge of the boxers but I will always research the fighters I referee so that I have an idea of their styles.
"It helps me to know what I'm dealing with."
Howard Goldberg, another boxing luminary who has brought so much glory to this country, said Dwarte's appointment was highly merited. Goldberg has worked 100 world title bouts as a judge and over 250 title bouts as the fight supervisor.
"Deon is an excellent referee. He moves well and controls the fight well," said Goldberg, who heads up the ever-expanding World Boxing Federation (WBF).
"Deon and Eddie Marshall are arguably the two best boxing officials in the country now.
"Deon’s appointment to such a big fight is well deserved. It will be one of the biggest fights for 2020."
There will be another South African boxing personality who will have an interest in the bout.
He is Gerrie Coetzee and will be rooting for the Pulev camp. Pulev is managed by Ivaylo Gotsev who will be on the production team for the movie 'Gerrie', a film dedicated to the famous achievements of Africa's first world heavyweight boxing champion Coetzee.