Team Asis win battle for neutral judges in Johannesburg

JACK Asis has secured neutral judges for his August 5th title defence against Malcom Klassen.

The International Boxing Organisation (IBO) has announced the four men that will referee and officiate Asis’ maiden IBO super featherweight title defence against South African Malcolm Klassen in Johannesburg.

The final line-up of officials had been altered after Asis’ trainer and manager Brendon Smith requested a change after receiving the original appointments, which had South African Tony Nyangiwe appointed as the referee.

Smith requested a neutral referee and his request has been adhered to as American-based IBO President Ed Levine announced earlier today with Englishman Terry O’Connor appointed the third man in the middle for the title fight.

The judges are Germany’s Artur Ellensohn, Ghana’s Eddie Pappoe and Dave Paris from the United Kingdom.

“This is a world title fight on a big international card being broadcast to an international audience,” said Smith.

“So I felt it deserved neutral judges and a neutral referee, that’s why I requested a change of referee,”

“I want to make it very clear this is nothing personal against Tony Nyangiwe. He’s highly respected, but I just felt with a South African boxer fighting in South Africa there shouldn’t be a South African referee or judge involved.”

“I’m sure Klassen’s camp wouldn’t be comfortable if it was an Australian, or a Filipino for that matter, as an official. We have a completely neutral mix now with officials from United Kingdom, Germany and Ghana,”

“I want to thank Ed Levine and the IBO for firstly listening to my concerns and secondly actioning change.”

“This is for a world title, there is a lot at stake for both Jack and Malcolm.”

The August 5 showdown takes place in Gauteng, Johannesburg on a televised card in South Africa. The fight is the first of a series of IBO title fights scheduled in the next six months with Asis being placed in exclusive company.

Gennady Golovkin will defend his IBO middleweight strap against Kell Brook in September, while reiging IBO heavyweight champ Tyson Fury defends his title in a rematch against Wladamir Klitschko in October.

The clash with Klassen will be Jack Asis’ first defence of his IBO super featherweight title.

“It’s a huge fight for not only Jack but also Australia,” added Smith. “Jack will go to South Africa as the world champion, that’s an incredible feat in itself. Malcolm Klassen is a very good fighter, he has a worldwide profile.”

“He’s used to the big stage and he wants another world title. And to do that he needs to go through Jack.”

“Jack is just as hungry to retain the belt – this is a mega fight – Jack is world class and belongs on this stage.”

Words: Press Release
Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz



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