The four officials have been confirmed for Carl Frampton‘s WBA featherweight title rematch with Leo Santa Cruz later this month.
‘The Jackal’ takes on Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on January 28th, and the third man in the ring will be one of the sport’s top referees.
Veteran man in the middle Kenny Bayless has been chosen to officiate the Premier Boxing Champions bout. The 66 year old Nevada native is one of the most recognisable referees in the sport, especially with his ‘What I say, you must obey’ catchphrase. Among others, Bayless refereed the Mayweather v Pacquiao super fight back in May 2015. In what could be considered a good omen, Bayless refereed the last Irishman to fight in a world title bout in Las Vegas back in December 2014 when Andy Lee stopped Matvey Korobov at the Cosmopolitan/
The three judges picked for the bout are Nevada duo Dave Moretti and Burt A. Clements, along with Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman – who were the three men ringside for Mayweather v Pacquiao.
In this bout, Clements and Feldman scored it 116:112 to Mayweather, while Moretti scored it an even wider 118:110 in favour of the American.
None of the four have ever officiated Frampton.
On the other hand, Bayless has twice refereed Santa Cruz, both in world title bouts. The first of these was back in 2014 when ‘El Terremoto’ eased to a points win over Cristian Mijares, then again the following year when he stopped Jesus Ruiz in the seventh round, with Bayless waving the bout off with Ruiz pinned to the ropes.
In terms of the judges, Clements and Moretti were both used for the Santa Cruz v Ruiz bout, both having the bout scored 69:64 in favour of Santa Cruz at the time of the stoppage. Clements also was one of the judges for the Mexican-American’s second round knockout of Manuel Roman in 2014 and a tough six-round win back in 2009 against Jonathan Velardez which he scored 58:56.
Feldman is first set to judge the IBF-WBC super middleweight unification between James DeGale and Badou Jack tonight.
In terms of recent debatable scorecards, Feldman scored Darleys Perez v Maurice Hooker a 95:95 draw, despite most feeling that the Ward-Kovalev undercard bout was clearly won by Perez. Moretti received criticism Bob Arum in the same month for giving Manny Pacquiao a narrow 114:113 win over Jessie Vargas despite the Filipino seemingly dominating (something which was echoed in the other two cards that night, both 118:109 in his favour).
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show