Top Rank Promotion chief Bob Arum said that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) assured him of fair officiating in the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arum told The Manila Times that he received a message from NSAC Executive Director Robert Bennett guaranteeing that no rigging or manipulation of fight results will occur when the mega bout between Pacquiao and Mayweather happens on May 2.
“But the NSAC people guaranteed me that it [unfair judging]won’t happen and they will treat everybody fair,” Arum said.
“I’m confident they will not tarnish their reputation because they already promised that they would hire the best officials to officiate the fight,” he added. “It’s going to be a blockbuster fight for sure that’s why it deserves the best.”
The Manila Times sports columnist and the Philippines’ foremost boxing analyst lawyer Ed Tolentino said that a questionable officiating of the mega bout would be detrimental not only to NSAC but to Pacquiao and Mayweather as well, “The impression that the Nevada State Athletic Commission might rig the fight for Floyd because he is from Las Vegas is not accurate. The problem is the tattered reputation of the commission itself.”
“It has a history of appointing incompetent judges and officials who end up screwing big fights. This goes a long way back. And the fear is that it might rear its ugly head again on May 2. It’s not only a problem for Pacquiao but it could also be a problem for Mayweather,” Tolentino added.
In an interview conducted by Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bennet, 60, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said that the mega bout is a test that he can’t afford to fail.
“I’ve spent the last three weeks putting the list together. We are going to select the best of the best. We are going to look for officials who are experienced and are experienced in working big fights particularly in Las Vegas. We know the entire world is going to be watching so there’s added stress involved,” Bennet said.
Two weeks from now, the NSAC will release the names of the officials of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.