Nearly two weeks have passed since the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match (helpfully abbreviated to #MayMac on the Twitters) was announced, and we still don't have a lot of answers to many of the smaller details surrounding the fight. Important stuff, too, like who will end up reffing the fight. That can be pretty significant when it's simply boxer vs. boxer, but it takes extra importance with a fight like this.
First off, it's in McGregor's interest to find a ref that's going to let him fight as far up to the edge of boxing rules as possible. A stuffy ref could really cramp his ability to try new things that may not be standard but are allowed. Then there's the question of whether a boxing ref would give Conor McGregor a truly impartial and fair go during the fight. For that reason, both UFC president Dana White and McGregor's head coach John Kavanagh are against top boxing ref Kenny Bayless getting the nod from Nevada for the match.
“Yes, I’ll be objecting to that,” Kavanagh wrote on an Irish message board when asked if he'd fight Bayless being assigned for the bout.
And here's Dana White with a video clip of Bayless dismissing the legitimacy of Mayweather vs. McGregor
Seriously? This is Kenny Bayless who works for the NSAC a potential ref for the fight. Sounds like he works for the crybaby Oscar De La Arum pic.twitter.com/7yLvORqMOQ— Dana White (@danawhite) June 23, 2017
"I wouldn't want to see it," Bayless said. "Because it's two different sports. UFC and boxing are two different sports, so what would be the point?"
Bayless is typically considered the go to man in Nevada for big boxing bouts and even reffed the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. If not him, then who? If it were up to Kavanagh, he'd like someone with a bit more respect for mixed martial arts.
“I think [MMA ref] Marc Goddard should be the referee," he told ESPN recently. "We're already agreeing to boxing rules, boxing fight, boxing ring -- everything is done boxing. So, how about an MMA referee that will understand the inside fighting that will go into this fight?"
Anything is possible with this fight, but we imagine that's not too likely. Mayweather vs. McGregor will probably be handed to one of the established top boxing refs in Nevada. Which is just another way that the fight will be tilted in Floyd Mayweather's favor.