Asis v Klassen: Smith protest sees IBO referee switched

TGW & Smithy 28/07/2016
Smithy TGW

The IBO has announced the four men that will referee and officiate Jack Asis’ IBO World title defence against South African Malcolm Klassen in Johannesburg on August 5.

However the final make up of the officialdom has been altered after Asis’ Trainer manager Brendon Smith requested a change after receiving the original appointments from the IBO – which had South African Tony Nyangiwe appointed as the referee.

Smith requested a neutral referee and his request has been adhered to, American based IBO President Ed Levine announced this morning – Terry O’Connor from the United Kingdom will now be the third man in the middle for the title fight.

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

“This is a World title fight on a big international card being broadcast to an international audience so I felt it deserved neutral judges and a neutral referee – that’s why I requested a change of referee,” Smith explained.

“I want to make it very clear this is nothing personal against Mr Tony Nyangiwe as an official – 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.

“It works both ways I’m sure Klassen’s camp wouldn’t be comfortable if it was an Australian or Filipino for that matter as the referee or one of the judges.

“I feel we have a completely neutral mix now, a referee from the United Kingdom and judges from Germany, Ghana and the United Kingdom.

“I want to thank President Ed Lavine 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 live TV card in South Africa.

It’s the first of a number of IBO mega fights scheduled in the next six months. Toowoomba’s Jack Asis is in exclusive company.

Middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin defends his IBO belt against Kell Brook on September 10 and IBO heavyweight champ Tyson Fury defends his title in a rematch against Wladamir Klitschko on October 29.

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

Malcolm ‘The Stone’ Klassen has a professional record of thirty two wins (17 KO), six losses and two draws. He’s the current IBO super featherweight Intercontinental Champion and the former IBF super featherweight World champion.

Klassen successfully defended the IBF strap on five occasions before losing it to Robert Guerrero.

“It’s a huge fight for not only Jack but also Australia.

“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 World wide profile.

“He’s held titles in the WBA, WBO, IBF and currently in the IBO where he holds the Intercontinental title. He’s main evented in South Africa, Namibia, United Kingdom and America.

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

“Jack is just as hungry to retain the belt. This is a mega fight.

“Jack is World class and belongs on this stage. It’s a tough fight but a fight Jack Asis can win.”