Michael Rosenthal

Breaking news: Ward-Abraham dispute resolved; fight is on

A dispute over officials that threatened to scuttle the Andre Ward-Arthur Abraham fight on May 14 in Carson, Calif., was quickly resolved and the fight is on.

The California State Athletic Commission will allow referee Luis Pabon of Puerto Rico to work the fight, settling a dispute over a clause in the contract requiring a neutral referee.

California wanted a domestic referee; Abraham's promoter wanted a ref from outside the U.S. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.

“Puerto Rico is part of the (Association of Boxing Commissisions). That was the most important thing,” said Che Guevara, acting Chief Athletic Director of the California State Athletic Comssion.

“Luis Pabon has worked quite a few big fights, championship fights. We have no problem with him at all.”

The judges who will work the fight also were announced: James Jen-Kin of California, Ingel Barrabas of Germany and Stanley Christodoulou of South Africa.

Guevara said that the dispute over the referee was resolved during a series of phone calls between all parties, with Commission Chairman John Frierson playing a role.

Sauerland had released a statement to the media indicating that he would not allow Abraham to leave Germany for the U.S. until the dispute was resolved.

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