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Bayless to work Manny's fight

By Joaquin Henson
Tue, 09 Jul 2019

Kenny Bayless will mark his 11th fight as a referee in a Manny Pacquiao fight when he enters the ring to work the Filipino?s showdown with Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight unified title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on July 20.

Bayless, 68, made his first appearance in the ring with Pacquiao in the second Erik Morales fight in 2006. In Pacquiao?s last 10 bouts, Bayless worked five, including the seventh round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse for the WBA 147-pound title in Kuala Lumpur last year. Of Bayless? 10 assignments, Pacquiao won eight and lost two. The two defeats were to Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth encounter in 2012 and to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in 2015.

Bayless was in the ring when Pacquiao disposed of Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. He was the referee when Pacquiao outpointed Sugar Shane Mosley in 2011. Mosley was floored in the third round and Bayless counted a knockdown against Pacquiao in the 10th, only to later apologize for the mistake. Bayless was on the blind side when Pacquiao went down from a shove by Mosley. Video replays clearly showed it was no knockdown and Bayless admitted his error in a personal apology to Pacquiao. Two judges Dave Moretti and Duane Ford scored it a shutout for Pacquiao so they discounted Bayless? call and the third judge Glenn Trowbridge gave Mosley one round, 10-9 so the knockdown which should?ve resulted in a 10-8 count was also dismissed.

The three judges in Pacquiao?s fight against Thurman are the same who worked his previous bout against Adrien Broner last January. It?s the first time in Pacquiao?s career that the same three judges will work his fights back-to-back. The judges are Glenn Feldman of Connecticut and Moretti and Tim Cheatham, both from Las Vegas. Cheatham will work only his second Pacquiao fight since obtaining his professional license in 2009. Moretti has been assigned to 10 Pacquiao fights, eight of which he won. Feldman has been a judge in four Pacquiao bouts, three of which he won.

Moretti and Feldman were two of the three judges assigned for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. Feldman scored it 116-112 for Mayweather but Moretti?s margin was much wider, 118-110. Both Moretti and Feldman have worked four of Pacquiao?s last six outings.

In the Broner fight, Feldman and Cheatham both saw it 116-112 while Moretti had it 117-111, all for Pacquiao. Of the three judges, only Moretti has worked a Thurman fight in 2015 when the unbeaten American of Polish-Hungarian descent decisioned Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Moretti scored it 118-101 for Thurman. It was Thurman?s third fight at the Las Vegas mecca after knocking out Favio Medina in 2010 and Brandon Hoskins in 2012. In contrast, the Thurman fight will be Pacquiao?s 15th at the MGM facility since winning the IBF superbantamweight crown on a sixth round disposal of South Africa?s Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001.

Bayless made his debut as a professional referee in 1991. A prostate cancer survivor, he never underwent surgery, chemotherapy or radiation to heal and instead relied on eating healthy food with advice from his wife Lynora, a nutritionist. Bayless was an All-America track star in the 400-meter relay at the California State-Hayward during his varsity years. He taught physical education and health for 29 years at William Orr Middle School before becoming an inspector with the Nevada State Athletic Commission then a professional boxing referee.

Photo: Referee Kenny Bayless counts Erik Morales during Morales's second fight with Manny Pacquiao on Jan. 21, 2006 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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