Canelo Alvarez faces Josesito Lopez in Saturday night's Showtime main event from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Let's run down the officials for this bout and the card's main co-feature between Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce De Leon.
Hall of Famer Joe Cortez will be the referee for Canelo vs Lopez, which these days I take with as much weight as I would saying that Hall of Famer Sylvester Stallone will be the referee. Cortez is slow, inconsistent, anything but firm despite his catchphrase, and indecisive.
Joe Cortez would be free to tell me I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground, and while I literally do know my ass from a hole in the ground (like, my actual ass and an actual hole in the ground - I know these are different things), I know he has more insight into refereeing than I do. But I see what I see with Cortez, and it's not like I'm the only one or anything. He is, at best, a subpar referee who simply cannot keep pace with the action these days. This is not to say he won't do a totally harmless job on Saturday, but his recent history isn't good.
The judges for the fight will be Dick Flaherty, Burt Clements, and Glenn Trowbridge.
Flaherty is not usually a Nevada judge, but with the commission really spread thin on Saturday, they've made some special appointments. He's a veteran. He last worked on April 28, scoring Hopkins vs Dawson II for Dawson, 117-111, same as Steve Weisfeld, which made them the two sane judges in the majority decision.
Clements is a veteran Nevada judge who hasn't had to score the outcome of his more recent, most major fights, like Khan vs Garcia and Khan vs Judah. Last year in Thailand, he scored Tomas Rojas vs Suriyan Sor Rungvisai for Rungvisai, 117-111. Also last year, he had Vazquez Jr vs Arce a 104-104 draw at the time of stoppage, and he scored Froch vs Abraham for Froch, 119-109.
Trowbridge is also a well-known Nevada regular. In April, he scored Rios vs Abril for Rios, 115-113, but rebounded in May to see the obvious in the Canelo vs Mosley fight, scoring it 119-109 for Canelo.
The best referee in the building at the MGM Grand is Kenny Bayless, and he's been assigned the main undercard bout between WBC featherweight champ Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce De Leon. Bayless rarely makes a bad call, admits it when he does, and is one of the sport's finest referees.
The judges will be Richard Houck, Jerry Roth, and David Sutherland.
Houck is a Nevada judge, another familiar name. He had Katsidis vs Mensah a 95-95 draw in April, making him the dissenting voice in Mensah's majority decision win.
Roth was the only one of three judges who scored Pacquiao vs Bradley for Manny Pacquiao, 115-113.
Sutherland is an Oklahoma and Texas referee with limited experience in notable fights. In March, he had Carlos Molina ahead of James Kirkland, 87-84, when the fight was stopped on the bogus DQ. The first time his name became known at all was back in 2009, when he scored the first Juan Diaz vs Paulie Malignaggi fight for Diaz, 116-112. You might recall Malignaggi referring to him as, "some judge from Oklahoma that I've never even heard of," before the fight.