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Kenny Bayless to referee Floyd Mayweather-'Canelo' Alvarez fight

September 04, 2013|By Lance Pugmire
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr. trains for his upcoming match against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. trains for his upcoming match against Saul "Canelo"… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has chosen Kenny Bayless to referee the  pay-per-view super-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena boxing ring Sept. 14.

The commission also selected Nevada judges Dave Moretti and C.J. Ross and Canada’s Craig Metcalfe as those who could ultimately decide the outcome on points.

Seven of Mayweather Jr.’s last nine fights have gone to the judges.

Bayless, 53, has worked three of Mayweather’s past fights, and is regarded as one of the world’s best, most recently working the December knockout of Manny Pacquiao by Juan Manuel Marquez.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada commission, said Moretti is also one of the most well-regarded officials in the world in his profession.

Kizer said he wanted someone outside the country and assessed Metcalfe as the best judge in Canada.

He said there was no dispute from either the boxers or fight promoter Golden Boy Promotions.

The addition of Ross might trouble casual boxing fans who remember her scoring in favor of Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao in a disputed 2012 decision.

Ross and Duane Ford scored the bout 115-113 for the hobbled Bradley, while judge Jerry Roth had it 115-113 for Pacquiao, with many others ringside and in the crowd believing Pacquiao had cruised to victory.

“There was nothing to rehabilitate,” with Ross, Kizer said. “There were about eight close rounds in that fight that could’ve gone either way. You had Pacquiao 8-4, and [Showtime broadcaster] Brian Kenny had Bradley 8-4.”

Still, that fight, which drew nearly 1 million pay-per-view buys, left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths.

Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy, expressed full confidence in Ross and the Nevada commission, and said the officials know what’s at stake in a bout that could generate 2 million pay-per-view buys.

“No one wants the biggest fight in years to be remembered as a badly scored fight, with the casual fan left saying, ‘Oh, that’s boxing,’” Schaefer said. “It’s not an automatic that we take every fight to Las Vegas. We go there, however, because they usually do it better than anyone else, and that’s our expectation for this fight.”

Schaefer attended a business conference in New York on Wednesday where he said Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe told attendees that Mayweather will earn a guaranteed $41.5-million purse for the bout.


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