On Wednesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission named the referee and the three judges for the upcoming Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz rematch Saturday night in Vegas. And, it will be a recognizable veteran, as the third man in the ring.
Boxing Scene’s senior writer, Keith Idec reported that longtime championship referee Kenny Bayless has drawn the assignment to work the WBC Heavyweight Title fight scheduled for 12 rounds:
The Nevada State Athletic Commission just approved Kenny Bayless as the referee for the Wilder-Ortiz rematch. The judges will be Eric Cheek, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld. #WilderOrtiz2
— Keith Idec (@Idecboxing) November 20, 2019
Bayless is no stranger to world title mega-fights, as he was the third man in the ring for Floyd Mayweather’s 12-round decision win over Manny Pacquiao in May of 2015.
Bayless has worked many of Mayweather and Pacquiao previous biggest title defenses in Las Vegas over the course of the 2000s. This included the Oscar De La Hoya-Mayweather battle in 2007, Pacquiao’s fights with Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in 2009. And Mayweather’s lopsided win over Canelo Alvarez in 2013. He was most recently the referee in Manny Pacquiao’s World Welterweight Title 12 round decision win over Keith Thurman in July.
If you’re wondering about Bayless’ experience in heavyweight fights, he was the third man in the ring for Tyson Fury’s two round laughable win over Tom Schwarz in Vegas back in June. Bayless further worked a WBC title eliminator bout in 2015 in Russia between then-contender Alexander Povetkin and Carlos Takam.
Bayless has never worked any of Deontay Wilder’s previous fights.
When Wilder and Ortiz fought their wild battle at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, in March of 2018, veteran referee David Fields was the man in charge. And, Fields eventually waved the fight off when the “Bronze Bomber” scored his second knockdown in the 10th round.
When Wilder captured his WBC Title back in January of 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena by 12 round unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne, Tony Weeks was the official.
Finally, of the three judges that Idec reported that have been selected for Wilder-Ortiz, Dave Moretti is the most veteran and decorated having worked over 50 World Title fights in Las Vegas including both Canelo-GGG fights in Las Vegas in 2017 and 2018.