Top Rank boss Bob Arum praised the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for appointing Kenny Bayless as the referee for the mega bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“So far, so good the Nevada State Athletic Commission did a pretty good job for appointing Bayless as referee for that fight,” Arum told The Manila Times via phone interview. “He is really the best man for that job. He is absolutely fair for both fighters.”
Arum made the statement despite the warning of Golden Boy Promotion chief Oscar De La Hoya that Bayless could favor Mayweather.
“I think it favors Mayweather Jr. absolutely. There is no secret about that. I heard that Kenny Bayless would be the referee and that’s one point for Floyd,” Dela Hoya told Yahoo Sports boxing columnist Kevin Iole on the appointment of Bayless.
The NSAC also chose Burt Clements, Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman as the three judges for the fight, which is expected to generate a record $400 million in revenue.
Arum also commended NSAC for selecting the three judges.
“These guys are extraordinarily good officials from the standpoint of competency,” added Arum. “They are very credible, honorable men and their ratings are very high. We have no any problem with them.”
The 64-year-old Bayless is expected to earn about $25,000 for the night’s work, American sports broadcaster ESPN reported on Tuesday. Each judge will get $20,000.
Bayless has worked 12 fights involving either Pacquiao or Mayweather, including the two largest pay-per-view fights in history—Mayweather’s 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez and his 2007 fight against De La Hoya.
He refereed a total of seven Pacquiao bouts, including two with Juan Manuel Marquez and his 2014 fight against Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said he welcomed the decision.
“I think that this fight is so big—all we want is a fair fight. I think we can get that,” Roach told The Telegraph newspaper.
With report from AFP