Mayweather vs Pacquiao referee: Pressure on NevadaWritten by Mark Weber
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, which will take place May 2nd in Las Vegas, will undoubtedly be the biggest boxing match in the last 20 or more years. As a result, the state commission wants to make the best possible decisions.
Selecting officials for the superfight will be a tall order for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. They not only have to pick three of their best judges, but also a referee whose style is amenable to both fighters.
Freddie Roach, trainer of Manny Pacquiao, has already voiced his concerns over who will get the assignment to referee on May 2.
"I know all of the referees, I know the good ones, I know the great ones," Roach told ABS-CBN recently.
"I think they all respect me and Manny enough to give us a fair fight. That's all I'm asking for. Whoever refs the fight, all I'm asking is please, give us a fair fight, and let the best man win, and I think they'll do that."
"The Vegas judges, I think, that this is such a big fight that they're going to call a fair fight."
"My biggest concern is the referee right now."
There has been a bit of controversy in previous Mayweather fights, especially those officiated by now retired Joe Cortez. For instance, some thought the latter's approach heavily favored Floyd in his bout with Ricky Hatton in 2007. And, of course there was the infamous 2011 fight with Victor Ortiz in which Mayweather knocked out Ortiz while the latter was attempting to apologize for an intentional head butt. However, many blamed Ortiz more for the incident than Cortez.
Cortez retired in 2012, ultimately leaving two highly experienced, elite-level referees for May 2, Tony Weeks and Kenny Bayless.
The Pacquiao camp likely favors Tony Weeks, as Kenny Bayless has been criticized in the past for letting Floyd get away with holding. The Mayweather camp probably prefers Bayless as they've criticized Weeks in the past; However, both are fair and compotent officials.
If neither Weeks nor Bayless is selected, it will surely be a headscratcher for Nevada.