Referee Earl Morton dies following battle with cancer

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

Earl Morton, for more than 20 years one of the East Coast's top referees, died Friday following a battle with cancer.

Morton, 58, began officiating in 1989 and worked primarily in New Jersey, where he was licensed by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.

He officiated several notable fights, including the final two battles between the late Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward, which were in Atlantic City. They were considered two of the best fights in recent vintage.

Morton also worked Sergio Martinez's second-round knockout of Paul Williams in 2011; Tomasz Adamek's 2008 cruiserweight victory over Steve Cunningham; Floyd Mayweather's dominant 2005 win over Gatti and Bernard Hopkins' 2002 middleweight title unification win over William Joppy.

He lost a big assignment in 2008 when he was dropped from the Hopkins-Kelly Pavlik bout in Atlantic City after allegations were made that he was a friend of Hopkins'. The NJSCAB investigated and found the allegations meritless.

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