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Doncaster boxing referee ‘threatened’

Referee Howard Foster stops Carl Froch (right) and George Groves in their WBA and IBF Super Middleweight Title fight. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Referee Howard Foster stops Carl Froch (right) and George Groves in their WBA and IBF Super Middleweight Title fight. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

A Doncaster boxing referee and his family have been threatened after he sparked a row by stopping a high-profile fight.

Yobs have sent a barrage of abuse to experienced referee Howard Foster and have also threatened him and his family on their doorstep.

It follows the controversial end to the world supermiddleweight title bout between Carl Froch and George Groves.

Sources close to Mr Foster say he fears his career may be damaged and he may be forced to give up refereeing upcoming fights as a result of the backlash.

A source close to the family said: “Howard and his family have been receiving many threats.

“He can take criticism and often he has to, but when he and his family are threatened outside their homes it has reached another level.”

Mr Foster’s decision to stop Saturday’s bout in Manchester in the ninth round was so unpopular with the crowd that he had to be hidden under a coat and smuggled from the ringside by security staff.

Groves had appeared to be winning on points until the 51-year-old stepped in to award the fight to current double world title holder Froch.

Pals fear Mr Foster may be forced to miss referee duties for the forthcoming bout featuring Hatfield’s Connor Nixon at The Dome on December 6.

The source added: “He’s had many good messages from top people both in and out of boxing, which is good.

“But Howard now thinks he might have to pass the Dome show on to another ref.”

However, board chief Robert Smith said: “He was six inches away from the fighters. He is looking at the fighter’s eyes, and he has the health, safety and interest of the fighter at heart.

“Howard Foster is a world-class professional.

“Another punch could have made a massive difference to George’s career.”

South Yorkshire Police said any threats against Mr Foster would be treated seriously.

 

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