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Mayweather vs Pacquiao referee: Expert trainer explains why Bayless is non-factor

Joseph Herron Updated
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Earlier today on ESPN’s popular sports talk show, “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, longtime boxing analyst Brian Kenny heavily scrutinized the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s pronouncement of widely respected referee Kenny Bayless as the third man in the ring for the historic match-up on May 2, “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao”.

“I have to say, I’m surprised the Nevada State Athletic Commission, watching the fight in September, would put Bayless in the ring for such a high-profile bout,” stated the popular sports commentator.

“I’m absolutely stunned the Pacquiao camp is allowing their fighter to enter such a career defining event with even the chance he is at a disadvantage.”

“It is yet another edge gained by Mayweather, who is always tilting the odds in his favor, and always looking to keep things under control.

Why, indeed? Why did Freddie Roach and Team Pacquiao seem to be content with the assignment of respected official Kenny Bayless as the referee for such a crucial and legacy defining fight? 

On the most recent edition of “The Sweet Science with James Gogue”, exclusively featured on FightSaga Radio every Monday night, the three decade fight trainer explained why the appointment of Bayless wasn’t scrutinized by Roach, Pacquiao, or Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

“Everyone keeps pointing to Bayless’ role in the second Mayweather/Maidana bout and applying his officious activity in that contest to the upcoming May 2 super fight."

"They shouldn’t."

"It’s a completely different style match-up, in which the veteran referee won’t have to break the action nearly as often.”


Although both Maidana and Pacquiao can be classified as “effective aggressors”, the two offensive minded fighters use completely different tactics in the ring to control range.

Master strategist James Gogue expounds on his observations.

“Marcos Maidana likes to fight in the pocket and smother his opposition, often overwhelming them from close quarters with looping overhand rights and left hooks to the body and head,” states the experienced fight trainer.

“[But] Pacquiao has never been an inside fighter and likes to use his footwork to move in and out of range while launching his attacks from a distance.”

“Pacquiao is most comfortable throwing his punches from mid range, and always chooses to move out of the pocket and reset when countered effectively from a short distance."

"Kenny Bayless, the Mayweather vs Pacquiao referee, won’t have to separate the two fighters nearly as often as was the case in the second Mayweather/Maidana fight in September of 2014, because Floyd won’t have to use a clinch as part of his defensive strategy against Manny Pacquiao.

"It’s a non-issue in this particular style pairing.”

Mayweather vs Pacquiao | News  

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