King Arthur Abraham will travel to the US on Sunday morning after the referee row has been resolved. The former Super Six World Boxing Classic Tournament point leader is set to take on WBA Super-Middleweight Champion Andre Ward in the semi-finals at the Home Depot Center in Carson on May 14. “We are pleased that all issues regarding the judges and the referee have been sorted,” Hall of Fame-Promoter Wilfried Sauerland said.
“The Californian Commission and Dan Goossen have finally decided to honour the agreement that the referee will be from neither the US nor Europe. We have also agreed upon the three judges scoring the bout at ringside. This was our condition to let Arthur travel to the US, and since all of our demands have been met, he will now fly to the US on Sunday. I´m not sure why the Commission and Goossen did not stick to something everybody had signed off a long time ago but speaking from experience I know that dealing with Dan can be difficult at times.”
After Luis Pabon (Puerto Rico) was officially confirmed as the referee, Sauerland said the stage is set for an exciting fight. “This infamous referee row just adds to the growing notion that Ward is over-protected by Goossen. The fact that he has been trying to appoint a Californian referee does not make him look like the most confident promoter I have ever seen. But then again I can´t fault him for being scared of Arthur´s punching power. We are glad we have won the first round without even leaving the country but quite frankly I could have done without all the arguing.”
Meanwhile, King Arthur said he was unfazed by the referee discussion. “I do the fighting in the ring and let my mangers Kalle and Wilfried Sauerland take care of the rest,” he said. “I am glad that everything has been sorted and I am grateful their hard work has paid off.”
Abraham is travelling to the US knowing that the odds are against him. “I know that many people consider Ward the favourite – probably the same who considered me the favourite to win the tournament after my first-round KO victory over Taylor. All I can say is that I am looking forward to May 14 and that everything can happen in boxing, especially when you got a lot of punching power.”