The "Fight of the Century" will be in capable hands.
ESPN announced today that one of the most prolific and capable referees in boxing, Kenny Bayless, will preside over the upcoming superfight between Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. In addition, should the Welterweight championship match go the distance on May 2, 2015, the three men standing in judgment will be veteran judges Burt Clements, Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman.
Both fighters should be familiar with Bayless, who refereed Mayweather's fight with "Canelo" Saul Alvarez and his first bout with Marcos Maidana, as well as Pacquiao's most recent fights against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley.
He is a fine referee and there should be few complaints about his nomination. Except, perhaps, when it comes to his compensation:
Mayweather-Pacquiao ref Kenny Bayless will make $25K for fight. Manny & Floyd will each make at least $23,148 PER SECOND— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 21, 2015
Clements, Moretti and Feldman, however, might be cause for concern.
That's because Clements gave Jessie Vargas -- the hometown fighter -- an inexcusably wide win over Anton Novikov in Aug. 2014. Moretti also gave Vargas the win by a huge margin and also scored a fight between Top Rank prospect Jose Benavidez and Mauricio Herrera 117-111 for Benavidez when our sister site Bad Left Hook had Herrera winning 118-110.
Feldman seems competent, though, having given reasonable scores in recent fights like Matthysse-Provodnikov and Lee-Quillin.
At the end of the day, though, it's boxing. Worry over judge integrity is just par for the course. We can only hope that all three who preside over Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on fight night, as well as the promoters for both camps, are on their best behaviors.
In fact, it would be a relief -- and a thrill -- if the fight ended early, to erase any and all potential controversy.
For more on "Mayweather vs. Pacquiao" fight, including the latest updates click here. SB Nation also has a comprehensive "Pacquiao vs. Mayweather" news stream right here. And to check out a "Mayweather-Pacquiao" full fight video preview click here.