A lot of boxing fans won't be happy about this one, but Joe Cortez will be the referee in charge of the action on Saturday when Floyd Mayweather Jr faces Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Cortez has gained a notorious reputation for making poor calls, non-calls, and generally being a nuisance who doesn't allow inside fighting as often as boxing fans would like.
What will stir up the most criticism, I would guess, would be Cortez's handling of Mayweather's fight with Ricky Hatton. Personally I've never felt Joe Cortez deserved the mostly U.K.-based heat he took for his performance in that particular fight. Certainly he did Hatton no favors, and you could argue his style gave Floyd some advantages, but I don't think he was a reason that Hatton lost the fight.
And despite what may be the general thinking, Cortez has not worked many Mayweather fights. He hasn't done one since Hatton, and before that, hadn't been in a Mayweather fight since Floyd's 2002 rematch with Jose Luis Castillo. Those are the only fights of Mayweather's career that Cortez has refereed.
After the jump: Judges for Mayweather vs Ortiz and Alvarez vs Gomez officials.
The three judges at ringside scoring the bout will be Nevada veterans Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Trowbridge, and Jerry Roth. Quick looks at a sampling of their notable fights this year:
Byrd: Agbeko vs Mares (115-111 Mares), Klitschko vs Haye (117-109 Klitschko), Cloud vs Mack (67-66 Mack at stoppage), Pavlik vs Lopez (95-95), Maidana vs Morales (116-112 Maidana), Acosta vs Rios (86-83 Rios at time of stoppage), Provodnikov vs Herrera (115-113 Herrera)
Trowbridge: Mendez vs Salgado (115-110 Salgado), Pacquiao vs Mosley (119-108 Pacquiao), Garcia vs Campbell (100-90 Garcia), Vazquez vs Zappavigna (118-110 Vazquez)
Roth: D. Magdaleno vs Perez (98-91 Magdaleno), Bogere vs Beltran (96-94 Bogere), Darchinyan vs Perez (50-44 Darchinyan at time of stoppage), Maidana vs Morales (116-112 Maidana), Cotto vs Mayorga (107-102 Cotto at time of stoppage)
Both Roth and Trowbridge also worked the Khan vs Maidana fight last December, with Trowbridge scoring it 113-112 for Khan, and Roth at 114-111 for Khan. Trowbridge was also one of the two judges who rightly scored Caballero vs Litzau for underdog Litzau in November 2010.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs Alfonso Gomez
This fight is in California, so it's a whole different crew, of course. The referee is Wayne Hedgpeth (Mendez vs Salgado, Garcia vs Guzman, Andrade vs Pryor), and the ringside judges will be Alejando Rochin Mapula (Mexico), Ray Corona (California), and Samuel Conde Lopez (Puerto Rico).