Veteran boxing referee Kenny Bayless was the leading candidate to officiate the WBA junior middleweight title fight between undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather and and current WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto on May 5th. According to State Athletic Commission (NSAC) that aside from Bayless, they also considered Jay Nady to be the third man in the ring in the Mayweather vs Cotto bout.
“I’m always excited when I get chosen to do a fight of this magnitude. Again, it lets me know that my work is admired and appreciated. To get this fight is an honor in a way,” Bayless said.
Bayless is a familiar face to Floyd Mayweather, having officiated some of the undefeated boxer’s super-fights. The last time Bayless was the Mayweather’s May 2010 victory over Shane Mosley, with all three fights having taken place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Bayless was also a referee during Miguel Cotto fights. First one is Cotto’s defeats at the hands of Antonio Margarito in July of 2008 and Manny Pacquiao in November of 2009.
Bayless, known as one of the most impartial referees in Las Vegas, also officiated the Mayweather vs Dela Hoya (2007) fight and the Pacquiao vs Cotto superbout.
Although he refused to give his fight prediction in Mayweather vs Cotto, Bayless said he expects a clean bout between the two ring warriors.
“I’ve refereed both of them many times and I know their styles,” he said. “I do know they both fight clean and that’s what I’m expecting. A clean fight and believe it or not, I think that’s what we are going to get is a clean fight. I don’t foresee any problems that are going to develop. Their styles speak for themselves when they are in the ring.”
Bayless is currently on vacation in the island of Puerto Rico and will be returning to Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 2nd. And despite discussing a Mayweather vs Cotto fight, he can’t hide his enthusiasm towards being involved in such an event.
“A lot of people ask if I would be doing it,” said Bayless. “I get pretty pumped up when I get notification of fights of this caliber. It starts to prepare me on what I’m going to have to do.”