- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will defend his various belts against mandatory challenger (and secondary titleholder) Alexander Povetkin on Saturday (HBO, 3:30 p.m. ET) in Moscow, and on Monday the officials were announced.
The referee will be Luis Pabon of Puerto Rico. He will be working his second Klitschko championship fight. He was also the referee for Klitschko's fourth-round blowout of Jean-Marc Mormeck in March 2012.
Pabon will be working his third Povetkin fight. He worked Povetkin's 11th-round knockout of former titleholder Chris Byrd in 2007 and drew criticism for his work in Povetkin's majority decision win against cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck, who was moving up in weight, in 2012. In that fight -- a controversial majority decision win for Povetkin -- Pabon continually broke the fighters even when they were not in clinches and wouldn't let them fight on the inside, which cost Huck dearly because he was the one doing damage in tight quarters. Povetkin also made a habit of leaning over into Huck's right hands, yet Pabon routinely warned Huck for hitting Povetkin behind the head rather than telling Povetkin to stop bending over.
The judging panel will be Glenn Feldman and Ted Gimza, both from the United States, and Phillippe Verbeke of Belgium.
Verbeke judged Klitschko-Mormeck, and neither Feldman nor Gimza has worked a Klitschko fight. Feldman had Povetkin a clear winner against Ruslan Chagaev in their 2011 vacant title bout. Verbeke worked Povetkin-Huck and scored it a draw. Gimza hasn't worked a Povetkin fight.
Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will defend his various belts against mandatory challenger (and secondary titleholder) Alexander Povetkin on Saturday (HBO, 3:30 p.