Any time there's a rematch of a controversial fight, questions will arise about the new set of officials that get appointed for the bout. It's no secret the first fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley ended in an unpopular decision, with Bradley taking home the belts via a split verdict. In response to the result, the Nevada State Athletic Commission went to greater length in order to receive better feedback from the fighter's camps.
According to a report from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, the commission gave each camp a list of the judges and referees being considered for the assignment. Top Ranks' Bob Arum explained his side of the process.
"What the commission did was give us a whole list of officials that were being considered -- judges and referees -- and then we circulated it to both camps and we said knock out anybody that you feel may not be suitable. Then we had a phone call with (commission chairman Francisco Aguilar and commissioner Bill Brady last week) and said, 'Here are the officials that both sides have no objection to,' and out of that they selected three judges and the referee.
"Neither camp can complain about the officials selected because these are judges approved by both camps and same with the referee," Arum said. "I really commend the commission for taking the steps that they did and with all the transparency in this. It's the fighters who are most affected by this decision and now neither fighter can say anything whatever happens."
The judges for the contest will be Glenn Trowbridge of Nevada, Michael Pernick of Florida, and John Keane from Great Britain. The referee will be Kenny Bayless, widely regarded as perhaps the best referee in the United States. You may notice that only one of the judges is from Nevada, an oddity for such a big fight taking place there. However, Arum stated that it was their request to have judges of a more versatile background.
"We requested that because there are so many good judges around the world why limit yourself to just Nevada?" Arum said.
All three judges have worked at least one Pacquiao fight, with this being Trowbridge's sixth. This will be the seventh Pacquiao fight that Bayless will have worked. Because Bradley doesn't have the same history of fighting in Nevada like Pacquiao has, none of the judges or even Bayless have worked any of his bouts.
Will the fact that all of the judges have never worked a Bradley fight matter? Will they feel the need to "even it up" after what happened with their first battle?