By Chris Robinson
On Wednesday news broke that well-respected referee Kenny Bayless will be the third man inside of the ring when Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight championship against former five-time champion Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bayless is regarded as one of the game's best and it's of no surprise that he will be involved in yet another high-profile encounter.
I caught up with Bayless earlier tonight, as he was finishing up a dish of plantains, rice, and sweet potatoes that his wife had prepared for him. Bayless is still vacationing in his personal condo on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico but was just as accommodable as ever.
<--- Slideshow: Kenny Bayless refs the likes of Pacquiao, Cotto, De La Hoya, Mayweather, Hopkins, Margarito, Marquez and countless other stars
Bayless opened our conversation by claiming that the decision for him to oversee Pacquiao-Mosley is something he can't help but be a little proud of.
"I got a call from the commission, Keith Kizer, earlier today," said Bayless. "I'm always excited when I get chosen to do a fight of this magnitude. Again, it lets me know that my work is admired an appreciated. To get this fight is an honor in a way."
While some are looking at this as a lopsided matchup, nobody can deny that their will likely be fireworks of some kind when Pacquiao and Mosley square off. I asked Bayless what exactly he had to look out for come fight time.
"I've refereed both of them many times and I know their styles," Bayless continued. "I do know they both fight clean and that's what I'm expecting. A clean fight and believe it or not I think that's what we are going to get is a clean fight. I don't foresee any problems that are going to develop. Their styles speak for themselves when they are in the ring."
True enough, Bayless was involved in such bouts as Pacquiao-Marquez II, Pacquiao-Hatton, Pacquiao-Cotto, and Mayweather-Mosley last May. He is as impartial of a soul as you will meet and has always strayed away from giving any predictions on fights in the sport.
Kenny is expected to be returning to Las Vegas on May 3rd and will instantly find himself caught up in fight week upon his arrival, just like the rest of us.
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at [email protected]