De La Hoya says referee has a history of protecting Mayweather

De La Hoya says referee has a history of protecting Mayweather
Oscar de la Hoya, who has fought both Pacquiao and Mayweather, feels the Filipino boxer is at a disadvantage with the selection of the referee

MANILA, Philippines – The appointment of referee Kenny Bayless as referee for the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight drew criticism from fans on social media, but few boxing personalities are likely to be as outspoken about the selection as Oscar de la Hoya is.

De La Hoya, who is in Dubai for a celebrity golf tournament, told thenational.ae that he felt the 64-year-old Nevada-based referee will favor Mayweather when the two meet on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

“History shows that Kenny Bayless protects Mayweather,” said de la Hoya. “Pacquiao is now up against two guys in the ring instead of one. So I would have to say that Pacquiao is already one point behind and the fight hasn’t even started. 

“It’s surprising to me, given the history. But it’s Vegas and it’s Mayweather’s home town and they’re going to obviously do what’s best for him.” 

Bayless, a veteran of over 100 world title fights since being appointed an official by Nevada in 1991, was selected by the Nevada Athletic Commission in a unanimous 5-0 vote on Wednesday morning Manila time. 

Burt Clements and Dave Moretti of Nevada were selected to judge the fight along with Glenn Feldman of Connecticut.

Bayless will make $25,000 for the assignment while the three judges will make $20,000 each.

Bayless has worked a number of fights from both fighters, including Mayweather’s pro debut in 1996 and his most recent fight against Marcos Maidana. 

Bayless has also worked many of Pacquiao’s biggest fights, including his stoppage wins over Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, as well as his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth bout. 

Bayless has drawn criticism for breaking up fighters on the inside, which worked to Mayweather’s advantage in the Maidana rematch. 

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach didn’t seem bothered by the selection, however.

“Kenny Bayless is the best referee out there. I think he’s going to give us a fair fight,” Roach said in a video on Top Rank’s Twitter page.

Dela Hoya has met both boxers in the ring, losing to Mayweather eight years ago and then falling to Pacquiao in eight rounds 19 months later.  

Despite his reservations about Bayless, the former boxer turned Golden Boys Promotions president is predicting that Pacquiao will come away victorious at the MGM Grand.

“I feel Pacquiao has to win the first two or three rounds, because it’ll make Mayweather have to come from behind and he’ll have to start to pressure Pacquiao, to be the aggressor, and Mayweather does not like to be the aggressor,” Dela Hoya said. 

“So if Pacquiao can start well the first two rounds – winning those rounds – the fight can go in Pacquiao’s direction.” 

Dela Hoya says that Pacquiao is the one in the ring who can make the fight an exciting one, while also mentioning that he’s hearing the Filipino boxer is in great shape ahead of the match. 

“The one fighter to make it an exciting fight is going to be Pacquiao,” said Dela Hoya. “What he has to do is go in with a lot of combinations, a lot of footwork, which he has. And I hear he’s in tremendous, tremendous shape.” 

Dela Hoya is predicting Mayweather will be his usual self, leaning on his defensive style and aiming to out-box Pacquiao. He also said that Pacquiao will go for the knockout, and in a sport where “one punch can change everything,” he’s rolling the dice on Pacman. 

“With Mayweather, we’re going to see the same thing he does in every fight, which is box, win the rounds one at a time. I don’t see Mayweather trying to knock out Pacquiao, but I can see Pacquiao trying to knock out Mayweather. In this sport one punch can change everything and I think I’m going to have to give Pacquiao the advantage.” – Rappler.com

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