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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bayless alright by Ricky

Kenny Bayless will referee Ricky Hatton's showdown with Manny Pacquiao.

The Nevada official has been confirmed as the third man in the ring at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on May 2, in front of the Sky Box Office cameras.

Bayless is no stranger to the marquee fights, but has refereed Hatton once and Pacquiao twice.

He was in charge of Pac Man's rematch KO of Erik Morales in 2006 and his second points win over Juan Manuel Marquez in March last year.

He was also in charge of Hatton's last fight, the 11th-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi five months ago.

And although he has had his run-ins with American referees, not least Joe Cortez, the Hitman is happy with Bayless' appointment.

"He's refereed me once before, and he did an exceptional job," Hatton told

"The only thing I can ask of him is just let the fight flow, let it flow. As long as none of us are fouling, let the fight go.

"I'm sure Manny would say the same thing."

Hatton is adamant that over-zealous officiating from Cortez robbed him of the chance to compete against Floyd Mayweather Jr in his only professional loss.


The controversial referee was on him within seconds of the first bell and the Hitman is just hoping he is able to let his size and strength advantage count against Pacquiao.

"Fighting in-close, inside, is as much a skill as fighting at distance and you should be able to do both," he said.

"That's all I've asked of any referee. I'm not looking for any favours."

Bayless has been in charge of some of boxing's biggest battles down the years.

He oversaw Marco Antonio Barrera's consummate schooling of Naseem Hamed back in 2001 and was also in the ring for one of the fights of 2008, when Antonio Margarito stopped Miguel Cotto in a classic.


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