By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Internationally respected referee Bruce McTavish, a New Zealander who has made his home in Angeles City in the Philippines for over 40 years, has been honored by the World Boxing Council as the “Referee of the Year” for 2013.
McTavish received the award at the just-concluded WBC 41st Annual Convention in Thailand. Last years award went to Laurence Cole of Texas.
McTavish told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that the award which is named after the legendary referee Arthur Mercante was “a blessing because he was my mentor.”
He recalled that Mercante gave the seminars for referees and officials for many years at the WBC Conventions and that he – McTavish – took over from him some ten years ago.
The New Zealander who is more Filipino than many Filipinos is married to the charming Carmen Tayag, daughter of the renowned author Renato Tayag.
Often sought out by international promoters, McTavish has been the third man in the ring in several championship fights in Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, Russia and of course in the Philippines where he has refereed quite a few fights of 2012 "Fighter of the Decade" Manny Pacquiao.