Joshua vs Pulev: SA referee Dwarte to officiate heavyweight title bout

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Joshua vs Pulev: South African boxing referee Deon Dwarte will take charge of the heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev on Saturday 12 December.

Dwarte is already in London ahead of the fight at Wembley’s SSE Arena having jetted in last week to be able to complete his quarantine ahead of the fight.

The Capetonian official has been holed up in his hotel ahead of the fight and won’t get much in the way of sightseeing done ahead of his duties in the final top-draw heavyweight fight of 2020.

Joshua vs Pulev: First heavyweight title fight for referee

Dwarte, who made his debut as a referee in 2001, will officiate his first heavyweight title fight when Joshua defends his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO against IBF mandatory challenger Pulev.

“I have never done (refereed) a heavyweight fight on this level,” said Dwarte in an interview with IOL

“I have however refereed in the UK before. But heavyweight fights are hard to come by.”

Dwarte steps up

Dwarte has acted as a judge in heavyweight fights before including Joshua’s IBF title fight against Eric Molina in 2016.

“I have judged two world heavyweight title fights in the past,” Dwarte added.

He last took charge of a professional fight in Britain in the 2015 bout for the IBF World Feather Title between Evgeny Gradovich and Lee Selby.

Dwarte says that he is doing his homework on the fighters to be sure he is ready for anything the two men can throw at each other and ensure they stay inside the rules.

“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.”

Joshua vs Pulev: What you need to know and how to watch the fight in South Africa

Pulev has twice seen his proposed fight with Joshua postponed, first through injury in 2017 and then in June this year due to coronavirus.

The IBF’s mandatory challenger will become the first Bulgarian to win a heavyweight title if he can beat Joshua.

Joshua meanwhile needs to overcome Pulev to remove an obstacle to his proposed heavyweight dream fight against Tyson Fury.

The Joshua vs Pulev card starts at 21:00 SAST and is available on streaming platform DAZN (subscription required) but not on traditional television in South Africa.

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