Officials Names For Kovalev-Agnew 175 Lb. Title Fight

By Jake Donovan

Sergey Kovalev heads to Atlantic City for the first time in his career, facing unbeaten but unheralded challenger Cedric Agnew this weekend in a light heavyweight title fight. 

Veteran referee Samuel Viruet – a regular official on the New York/New Jersey boxing scene – has been tabbed to officiate the scheduled 12-round affair, which headlines live on HBO. 

The event marks the first time that Viruet has ever officiated a fight featuring Kovalev or Agnew. The 67-year old official has served in more than two dozen major title fights, including a mercy stoppage of badly battered Giovani Segura at the hands of Brian Viloria in Dec. ’11. 

Earlier that year – and in his last high-profile fight officiated in Atlantic City, Viruet was the only official to avoid the guillotine following Paul Williams’ highly controversial majority decision win over Erislandy Lara. Ringside judges Donald Givens, Harold Whitaker III and Al Bennett were handed an indefinite suspension for what was classified as subpar work turned in for the HBO-televised contest. 

Few believe this weekend’s bout stands much of a chance going to the scorecards, largely due to the two-fisted power of Kovalev (23-0-1, 21KO). The unbeaten knockout artist hasn’t allowed an opponent to last the distance since Dec. ’10. Each of his past seven bouts have ended in stoppage, none lasting deeper than round seven.

In the event that judges are required for Saturday’s light heavyweight title fight, the fighters and third man are all in good company. Offiiciating the bout from ringside will be Julie Lederman, John Stewart and Alan Rubenstein.

Of the trio, only Lederman has served as a judge for previous Kovalev bouts. None of the three judges have ever officiated any bout featuring Agnew (26-0, 13KO), which makes sense since the Chicago native has never previously fought east of Michigan through seven years as a pro. 

Kovalev fights for the first time this year following a breakout 2013 campaign. The Florida-based Russian puncher scored four knockouts in as many ring appearances last year, including his first major title with a 4th round knockout of previously unbeaten Nathan Cleverly. The bout marked his HBO debut; Saturday’s fight will be Kovalev’s third straight on the network.

Agnew has never previously appeared on HBO or in a major title fight.  

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Shane Mosley: I'm Semi-Retired - But For Right Opponent I'll Fight! For Better or Worse, Heavyweight Glory Still Runs Through Klitschko Golovkin's Coach: Mayweather Deserves Catch-Weight, NOT Canelo! Frank Warren: Klitschko Does NOT Deserve Shot at WBA Title! What To Do With Tyson Fury? - BoxingScene Ratings Update Arum Explains Manny Pacquiao's Lack of Knockouts Since 2009 McGuigan: Frampton Will Make an Impact in Vegas With Santa Cruz Golovkin Warns Saunders: I Want Your Belt, That is My Goal! Joe Hanks, Denis Douglin Return To Action on November 5 Manny Pacquiao Gets in One Last Workout Before Leaving To LA Hearn: I 100% Want Anthony Joshua vs. David Haye in 2017 Parker vs. Ruiz: Duco Looking For Goverment Funding For Event Jean Pascal Not Yet Ready For Ring Return, Says Trainer Photo: Victor Terrazas, Eduardo Hernandez on Weight For War Vargas: It's My Time, After I Beat Pacquiao - A Star Will Be Born! Erislandy Lara Still Has a Target on The Back of Gennady Golovkin Photos: Luis Nery, Richie Mepranum Set For War in Tijuana Joselito Velasquez, Mexican Olympian, To Be Trained By Robles Wladimir Klitschko, Lucas Browne Far Apart On Money For 12/10 Photos: Canelo is Officially Belted in Puerto Rico By The WBO Cotto Says Canelo Rematch is a Subject For Discussion Danny Williams Returns, Faces Ali Eren Demirezen in Hamburg Edis Tatli Takes on Manuel Lancia on December 17 Canelo vs. Saunders Showdown Fully Backed By WBO Prez Weights: David Lemieux, Cristian Fabian Rios Ready To Fight Eggington Predicts Damage: I'm Going To Do a Job on Gavin Jeff Horn Ready For IBF Strap: 100%, Bring on Errol Spence! Hooker Plans on Testing Perez's Chin Early on Kovalev vs. Ward Marin, Pintor Make Weight For Boxeo Telemundo Season Finale Photo: Micki Nielsen, Kevin Lerena Ready For Battle Abel Sanchez Very Confident That Andy Ruiz Beats Joseph Parker Frampton: I'll Make it Two-Nil, Santa Cruz Only Fights One Way! Golovkin's Coach: I Doubt Canelo Will Last Eight or Nine Rounds Jeff Horn Crushes Rico Mueller As Title Shot Nears David Haye: Fans Want Me To Smash Tony Bellew, Shut Him Up Joshua Taylor Tabbed To Become World Champion By McGuigan Tim Bradley: I Need To Retire A Winner, Capture One More Title Eric Molina: I'll Fight Anthony Joshua or David Price on Dec. 10 Canelo: It Would Be an Honor To Rematch Miguel Cotto Kevin Lerena Confident of Knocking Micki Nielsen Out

Latest Active Forum Threads