By Jake Donovan
Highly respected boxing referee Kenny Bayless has been named third man for the September 13 rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The appointment of Bayless was unanimously approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission board during their monthly agenda hearing Thursday morning in Las Vegas.
The three judges for the fight are Dave Moretti (Nevada), John McKaie (New York) and Guido Cavalieri (Italy). All three officials were also unanimously approved by the panel.
Mayweather (46-0, 26KOs) survived what many consider to be the toughest test of his incredible career in escaping with a majority decision over Maidana in May. Moretti was one of the two judges who voted in favor of Mayweather, scoring the bout 116-112 in favor of the unbeaten pound-for-pound king.
The appointment of Moretti would normally present a red flag among camps in the mood to object over the slightest of reasons. The Nevada judge is now working his third straight Mayweather fight, and ninth time overall dating back to 2005. None of his scorecards for any of those bouts can be deemed out of the ordinary, including his accurately scoring in favor or Mayweather over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez last September.
However, the 118-110 scorecard turned in for Jessie Vargas’ win over Anton Novikov earlier this month was widely criticized as not properly reflecting the competitive nature of the fight.
Neither Cavalieri nor McKaie have ever before worked a fight involving either Mayweather or Maidana. The only other time Moretti scored a bout involving Maidana was the first fight with Mayweather.
Bayless is one of the most respected referees in the business. The Nevada referee was part of the Mayweather-Maidana card in May, having worked the 10-round super lightweight bout between Adrien Broner and Carlos Molina.
His past direct experience with Mayweather includes his serving as third man for fights with Oscar de la Hoya (May ’07), Shane Mosley (May ’10) and Alvarez. The lone time he has worked with Maidana was in the Argentine’s 8th round stoppage win over Jesus Soto Karass in Sept. ’12.
Officials were also named for the evening’s undercard bouts.
Tony Weeks will serve as the referee for the lightweight title fight between long-reigning beltholder Miguel Vazquez and challenger Mickey Bey. The judges will be Adalaide Byrd and Robert Hoyle of Nevada, and Julie Lederman from New York.
Robert Byrd has been named third man for the evening’s co-feature, a 122 lb. title fight between unbeaten champ Leo Santa Cruz and challenger Manuel Roman.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox