By Keith Idec
Conor McGregor has requested that the Nevada State Athletic Commission assign an international judge to work his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Bob Bennett, the NSAC’s executive director, told Sky Sports for a story posted to its website Thursday that the commission will consider McGregor’s request at its next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday in Las Vegas.
“The McGregor camp has requested an international judge,” Bennett told Sky Sports. “We will see if we think that’s fair, and we will take that into consideration. We try to be flexible and adaptable. We’re customer-service orientated.”
Only three international judges – one from Canada, one from Italy and one from England – have been among the 42 assigned to score Mayweather’s 14 straight fights in Las Vegas since April 2006.
Bennett added that McGregor’s camp has not requested a specific referee for their 12-round, 154-pound boxing match August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (Showtime Pay-Per-View; $99.95 in HD).
The referee for Mayweather-McGregor will be particularly important because McGregor, a UFC superstar, will make his pro boxing debut and is expected to make their fight physical and rough to diminish Mayweather’s advantages as the vastly superior boxer. Veteran referee Kenny Bayless has officiated four of Mayweather’s past five fights.
“No, we haven’t received a request for an international ref,” Bennett said. “We have a number of highly qualified referees that have worked in Vegas on mega-fights. We have a pool of competent and qualified referees. I’m in the process of concluding my research into who I think the officials should be. The referee that is approved will have a proven track record of working on high-profile fights, and a proven record of being consistent under pressure.
“He will be a world-class referee. He will keep an eye on both of them. It’s a boxing match. I’ve had conversations with McGregor’s manager to explain the rules and regulations. I explained that it’s incumbent upon him that McGregor has an intimate understanding of these rules. I brought some things to his attention that will ensure the health and safety of both fighters, and prevent them from losing points. At our next commission meeting [Wednesday], I will make my recommendation.”
The NSAC also will vote at its meeting Wednesday whether to grant Las Vegas’ Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) and Ireland’s McGregor (21-3, 18 KOs in MMA) an exception that would allow them to wear 8-ounce gloves for their fight. In accordance with the Association of Boxing Commissions’ rules, fighters in boxing matches contested above the welterweight limit of 147 pounds wear 10-ounce gloves.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.