Kenny Bayless named as referee for Las Vegas showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao   

  • Veteran Kenny Bayless has been named the third man in the ring for the highly anticipated bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao
  • Bayless has supervised countless high-profile fights in Las Vegas before now, including several of both Mayweather's and Pacquiao's
  • He will celebrate his 65th birthday on May 4, two days after the fight

By Jeff Powell For Mailonline

Published: 18:26 GMT, 21 April 2015 | Updated: 19:27 GMT, 21 April 2015

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The man widely considered the leading referee in the world will be in charge of the richest fight of all time.

Kenny Bayless has the honour of being the third man in the ring with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on May 2.

The appointment will be welcomed by both camps.

Referee Kenny Bayless (left) holds back Floyd Mayweather during his fight against Marcos Maidana

Referee Kenny Bayless (left) holds back Floyd Mayweather during his fight against Marcos Maidana

Bayless breaks up the tension between Mayweather (right) and Maidana during their bout in September 2014

Bayless breaks up the tension between Mayweather (right) and Maidana during their bout in September 2014

Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, says: 'Bayless is the best out there.'

Bayless, a veteran of countless big fights in Las Vegas, will celebrate his 65th birthday two days after supervising the Fight of the Century in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, acutely aware that the officiating has to be of the highest order, given that the fight is likely to attract an audience well beyond those who usually watch boxing, have wisely put their trust in the large physical presence and unflappable personality of Bayless.

Recent controversial results have put the Commission under pressure to bring in officials from outside Nevada for the mega-fights here and have made one concession in that regard.

Glenn Feldman, a much respected judge from Connecticut, will be among the three wise men scoring a fight which most expect to go the 12-round distance.

The two other judges are Las Vegas resident Dave Moretti and Burt Clements, from Reno. 

Serious consideration was given to including a judge from overseas and John Keane, a British Boxing Board Class A-star official from Wellingingborough, Northampton was thought to be the favourite.

Bayless has refereed previous super fights involving Mayweather and Pacqiao. Recently, he was in charge of Mayweather's difficult physical battle against Marcos Maidana and Pacquiao's spectacular knock-out by Juan Manuel Marquez.

He will receive $25,000 (£16,600) for the night's work in May, while the judges will each receive $20,000 (£13,300). It is still peanuts compared with the $180 million and $120 million which are the respective minimums expected to earned by Mayweather and Pacquiao but the officials are being paid somewhat more than expected. 

Bayless holds back Manny Pacquiao (left) as he stands over Ricky Hatton during their bout in 2009

Bayless holds back Manny Pacquiao (left) as he stands over Ricky Hatton during their bout in 2009

Pacquiao (left) stands over a knocked down Hatton as Bayless begins his count during the fight in 2009

Pacquiao (left) stands over a knocked down Hatton as Bayless begins his count during the fight in 2009

 

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