by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Eddie Claudio of Brooklyn, New York has been named as referee for the WBO minimumweight title defense of Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo vs No. 9 contender Francisco Rodriguez Jr of Mexico in Monterrey on Saturday.
The announcement was made by WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel who also announced that the judges will be Adalaide Byrd and Glen Feldman both of the United States and Mexico’s Victor Salomon.
WBO fight supervisor will be Luis Perez.
Claudio is remembered as the referee when Filipino Johnreil Casimero won the IBF light flyweight title with a 10th round TKO of Luis Lazarte of Argentina in a fight marred by a riot by Lazarte’s supporters after the decision was announced resulting in injuries to Casimero and members of his team including promoter Sammy Gello-ani.
In fact midway through the sixth round of the title fight in Buenos Aires, Claudio stopped the bout and penalized Lazarte for consistantly hitting Casimero behind the head.
A ringside report said that while only inches away from Claudio’s face,Lazarte told the referee “do you want to get out of here alive?” IBF Public Relations Director Jeanette Salazar said that Lazarte was banned f or life from competing in any IBF fight card.
One of the big fights Claudio refereed was on December 31 last year when Japan’s WBA light flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka beat Felix Alvarado. He also refereed the December 21, 2013 IBF super bantamweight title fight when Kiko Martinez won by a 9th round knockout over Jeffrey Mathebula who had earlier lost his title Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.
Adailade Byrd is a popular judge and is the wife of World Boxing Hall of Fame referee and judge Robert Byrd. Although she primarily works in Las Vegas, Nevada, she has also judged bouts in Mexico, Panama, Canada, Germany, Australia, and the Philippines. Byrd has said that she does not believe in scoring a round even or 10-10. She feels it is in the best interest of the boxers for the judge to choose a winner of each round.
Alongside boxing, Byrd has also worked as a mixed-martial arts judge since 2006.
Last March 8, 2014 Byrd was a judge in the WBC super bantamweight title defense of the classy Leo Santa Cruz against former world super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares.
She was one of the judges in the WBO light flyweight title defense of Donnie Nietes against Mexico’s Moises Fuentes which ended in a majority draw with Byrd and Pat Russell scoring the fight an even 114-114 while Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan scored it 115-113 for Nietes.
Judge Glen Feldman was a boxing writer before becoming a judge in 1988. He is the founder of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, of which, he is also a member. Outside of boxing, Feldman is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch.
The third judge named by Valcarcel is from Mexico. Victor Salomon was a judge when Nicaragua’s undefeated Carlos Buitrago beat Julian Yedras on July 20, 2013 and also was a judge when Ana Julaton won the WBO Female super bantamweight title beating Jessica Villafranca in a unanimous ten round decision on September 30, 2011.