Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan likely won't have any referee controversy on May 19, as Kenny Bayless has been assigned by the Nevada commission. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
The May 19 rematch in Nevada between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan had its officials named this morning by the commission, and this is particularly important given the controversy of a largely inexperienced crew in December that led to Khan being deducted points for shoving, plus scoring that -- well, the scoring wasn't really a problem, given that it was a really close fight, so mostly this is about the referee.
Kenny Bayless is arguably the best referee in boxing, and he's been named the third man in the ring for this one, which is as good a call as could have been made. Bayless could have worked any big fight coming up, including Mayweather vs Cotto on May 5, but I like the assignment here, because chances are pretty high that we're not going to have any issues with Bayless' officiating.
Last year he did make a mistake ruling a knockdown against Manny Pacquiao when Manny fought Shane Mosley, and he owned up to making a mistake right after the fight, apologizing to Pacquiao and admitting the slip-up publicly. In short, he actually was accountable and didn't hide from it, which was refreshing.
The judges assigned to the fight are Nevada veterans Burt Clements, Duane Ford, and Adalaide Byrd.
Byrd was recently the only judge in Vegas with a head on her shoulders for the Rios-Abril fight, scoring it 117-111 for Abril. Other recent world title fights that she's been ringside for have included Dib vs Escobedo in Australia, Ramos vs Rigondeaux, Arce vs Angkotta II (Arce 117-111), Bradley vs Casamayor, Mayweather vs Ortiz, Mares vs Agbeko I (Mares 115-111), Klitschko vs Haye (Klitschko 117-109), and Cloud vs Mack. She also scored the Pavlik vs Lopez fight last May a 95-95 draw, which I thought was entirely fair and a damn sight more accurate than the 98-92 and 99-91 cards Pavlik got from Richard Houck and C.J. Ross.
Clements was most recently in action in Japan, judging a pair of world title fights on April 6. He scored Shinsuke Yamanaka over Vic Darchinyan 117-111, and Takahiro Ao over Terdsak Kokietgym 116-112. He was also on the Ramos vs Rigondeaux and Bradley vs Casamayor fights, and had Suriyan Sor Rungvisai over Tomas Rojas 117-111 last August. Last year he also worked Khan vs Judah, Soto vs Sasaki, Vazquez vs Arce, and Vazquez vs Zappavigna (Vazquez 118-110).
Ford has been involved with notable fights the past two weekends. On April 14, he scored Mike Alvarado over Mauricio Herrera 97-93, and on April 21 he had a 120-107 shutout for Abner Mares over Eric Morel. He worked in Texas on February 4, scoring Chavez vs Rubio 116-112 for Chavez, which was the middle card between 115-113 and 118-110 from the other two judges, and last September he had a 90-80 shutout for Vitali Klitschko over Tomasz Adamek at the time of stoppage.