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Referee confirmed for Froch-Groves rematch

ESPN staff
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George Groves warms up in the ring during a public training session at Westfield Shopping Centre in London © Getty Images
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Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that referee Charlie Fitch will officiate the IBF and WBA world title rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley on Saturday.

The IBF threw out a late objection from Groves' camp over Fitch's appointment, with the issue of who will referee the bout having been a major area of contention throughout the build-up.

The rematch was originally ordered by the IBF after they ruled that referee Howard Foster acted "inappropriately" in stopping November's first bout in the ninth round as Groves covered himself, with the challenger insisting a foreign referee be chosen for the Wembley bout.

However last week, Froch and his promoter Eddie Hearn objected to the appointment of American referee Jack Reiss.

Groves' trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick then called for a "strong referee" to watch out for Froch "fouling", but despite concerns being raised over the suitability of Fitch, the 44-year-old from Brooklyn has been put in charge.

Hearn told Sky Sports: "There was another objection over the referee from Team Groves but the IBF made the decision last night that Charlie Fitch will referee the fight.

"The judges are now in place. No more dramas. Probably a few little mind games going back and forth but we're all set, the fight's on and we're ready to go.

"This fight is so close. It's a real 50-50 so any edge either fighter can get over his opponent is an advantage. You might be talking half a percent or a quarter but it doesn't really matter.

"George is fantastic at the mind games and he'll be doing more and more of that as time goes. Carl's kept himself very focus away from it but it's such a tight fight that all advantages will need to be exploited."

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