Tony Weeks was included in the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s pool of potential officials, but Weeks wasn’t chosen Wednesday as the referee for the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev fight.
The NSAC went with executive director Bob Bennett’s recommendation and approved Russell Mora as the referee for their 12-round fight for Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title November 2 in Las Vegas. The last time Weeks worked a Kovalev fight, his eighth-round stoppage of Kovalev’s rematch against Andre Ward caused controversy because Ward landed three consecutive, questionable body blows just before Weeks halted the action.
Kovalev’s handlers expressed concern to Bennett about the possibility of Weeks working his fight against Alvarez when the NSAC submitted its pool of possible officials earlier this month.
Bennett chose Mora over veteran Nevada referees Robert Byrd, Vic Drakulich, Jay Nady and Weeks.
Mora has not worked any of Alvarez’s 12 fights in Las Vegas since he first fought there in May 2010. Mora did officiate Alvarez’s ninth-round knockout of Jeferson Goncalo in June 2009 in Cancun, Mexico.
The NSAC also approved New York’s Julie Lederman, Nevada’s Dave Moretti and Connecticut’s Don Trella as the judges for the Alvarez-Kovalev fight at its monthly meeting Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Nevada judges Tim Cheatham, Eric Cheek, Lisa Giampa, Patricia Morse Jarman and Glenn Trowbridge, Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman and New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld were among those Bennett also considered recommending to work the Alvarez-Kovalev fight.
Moretti has worked each of Alvarez’s past four fights in Las Vegas, and eight of Alvarez’s previous nine appearances in “The Fight Capital of the World.”
Trella has worked only one Alvarez fight. Lederman will judge her first fight involving Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs), who’ll move up two weight classes to challenge Russia’s Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) a week from Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Moretti most recently scored the Mexican superstar a 115-113 winner over Daniel Jacobs in their middleweight title unification match May 4 at T-Mobile Arena. Feldman (116-112) and Weisfeld (115-113) also scored Alvarez the winner of that bout.
In Alvarez’s first fight against Gennadiy Golovkin, which resulted in a split draw, Moretti was the only judge to score Golovkin the winner (115-113).
Trella scored the first Alvarez-Golovkin bout a draw (114-114) in September 2017 at T-Mobile Arena. The third judge, Adalaide Byrd, infamously scored 10 rounds that night for Alvarez (118-110).
In their rematch, Moretti scored Alvarez a 115-113 victor against Golovkin, as did Weisfeld. Feldman scored that 12-rounder even, but Alvarez won a majority decision 13 months ago at T-Mobile Arena.
In Alvarez’s highest-profile fight, Moretti scored Floyd Mayweather Jr. a 116-112 winner over him in September 2013 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Craig Metcalfe scored that bout 117-111 for Mayweather.
CJ Ross oddly scored Mayweather-Alvarez a draw (114-114). She was never assigned to judge another professional fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.