Joshua
Anthony Joshua/BBC

Referee Steve Gray will take charge of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Alexander Povetkin.

It will be the fifth fight of Joshua’s overseen by the experienced British official.

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“[Povetkin’s promoters] World of Boxing are happy with a British ref,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports last month.

World title fights on British soil can be refereed by an official from a neutral country if the visiting fighter requests – for example, America’s David Fields was appointed for Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko.

But Italy’s Giuseppe Quartarone attracted criticism for his performance as referee during Joshua’s most recent fight against Joseph Parker.

“[Parker’s team] wanted a neutral ref. We agreed to that,” Hearn explained post-fight.

“British refs are the best in the world.”

Lancashire referee Gray will referee this weekend’s headline bout having previously been in the ring with Joshua during his fights against Matt Legg, Matt Skelton, Konstantin Airich and Eric Molina.

Notably in recent times, Gray also officiated Tyson Fury’s comeback victory against Francesco Pianeta as well as Lawrence Okolie’s ‘British Beef’ win over Isaac Chamberlain.

He was also responsible for stopping the fight that saw George Groves win a world title, having halted Fedor Chudinov on his feet last year.