Quality officials for mega-fight
Representatives from Mayweather and Pacquiao offer praise for veteran crew.
Mayweather and Pacquiao camps are pleased with judges and referee selected for the May 2 bout.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday assigned three veteran judges and a referee familiar with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to work their bout May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The judges will be Dave Moretti of Las Vegas, Burt A. Clements of Reno and Glenn Feldman of Connecticut, and the referee will be Kenny Bayless, who’s handled seven Pacquiao bouts and five of Mayweather’s.
“We will only select officials with a proven track record of high-profile fights, with me evaluating a litany of statistical data to ensure these judges have been successful in high-impact fights,” Nevada commission Executive Director Bob Bennett said.
Clements, 62, of Reno, has worked only one Pacquiao fight, and his mistake cost the Filipino a 2004 splitdecision triumph over Juan Manuel Marquez in the first of their four fights.
Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round, and should have earned a 10-6 score. Clements admitted afterward that he didn’t realize he could score a round more lopsided than 10-7. That extra point resulted in his 113113 scorecard that forced a draw.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum praised the assignments of the officials. “Moretti and Clements are tremendous judges, honorable guys, and Glenn Feldman is terrific, has a very good reputation. These are extraordinarily good officials from the standpoint of competency.”
Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions said, “I can’t believe it, but this is one thing Bob Arum and I do agree on: We’re very pleased with the selection of the officials. I have no doubt the officials will be very fair in judging the fight and the referee will undoubtedly do a masterful job.”
Bayless worked Mayweather’s Oct. 11, 1996, pro debut in Las Vegas, and he refereed the fighter’s most recent bout, a unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in September.
Bayless’ seven assignments with Pacquiao date to 2006, and he most recently handled Pacquiao’s unanimous-decision triumph over Timothy Bradley last year.
“Kenny Bayless is the best referee in the world,” Arum said.
Moretti, 70, of Las Vegas, is considered perhaps the top boxing judge in the world. He’s worked nine of Mayweather’s last 14 fights, and has worked six of Pacquiao’s bouts.
Moretti turned in 116-112 scores (eight rounds to four) in favor of Mayweather in three fights: against Zab Judah in 2006, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2013 and in Mayweather’s competitive first fight against Argentina’s Maidana last year.
Moretti had scored Pacquiao comfortably ahead before his stoppages of Oscar De La Hoya in 2008 and Miguel Cotto in 2009. In Pacquiao’s third fight against Marquez, in which punch statistics gave the Mexican fighter an edge, Moretti scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao.
Clements has been assigned to three Mayweather bouts, awarding him a dominant 120-107 score in 2009 against Marquez and the widest edge among the three judges, 117-111, in the first Mayweather-Maidana fight.
Arum dismissed the Pacquiao-Marquez miscue by Clements. “Here’s how honorable the guy is: He admitted the mistake that night,” Arum said.
Feldman, who founded the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, has worked only one fight featuring Mayweather or Pacquiao, and that one ended in the third round, a Mayweather win by technical knockout in 1998.
KENNY BAYLESS, shown in September during Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Marcos Maidana, will be the referee for the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout.