The officials for tonight's bout between WBC and WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and challenger Sergio Martinez at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City have been announced. The referee is David Fields, who has tons of experience in New Jersey and New York but will be working only his fifth -- and most high-profile -- world title fight in his career.
Judging the bout are Craig Metcalfe of Canada, Barbara Perez of New Jersey and Roberto Ramirez from Puerto Rico. Metcalfe seldom has ventured beyond Canada but has a solid record, and Perez is an Atlantic City veteran, who worked Pavlik's last Boardwalk Hall appearance, scoring a 117-109 win for Bernard Hopkins, a decision that was very much in line with her fellow judges that night. It's the only loss of Pavlik's career. Ramirez has extensive international experience.
No doubt, Martinez will be happy to hear Pierre Benoist is not on the judging panel. Benoist was the judge who put his incompetence on display by giving Paul Williams a 119-110 decision over Martinez on Dec. 5, when Lynne Carter called it 115-113 for Williams and Julie Lederman scored it a 114-all draw.
After that fiasco, it was important to put together a solid crew of reliable judges for Pavlik-Martinez, and this looks like a good group going into tonight's bout, which follows Lucien Bute's IBF super middleweight title bout against Edison Miranda on an HBO card that airs at 10 p.m.
For quick fight updates if you don't have access to the HBO telecast, please follow me on twitter.com at GregLogan1, and you may look for a running fight story plus an update with quotes later on Newsday.com