Kenny Bayless out as May-Mac ref after comments
According to a report from the L.A. Times, veteran boxing referee Kenny Bayless has been eliminated as a possible choice for the official in charge of the action when Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Conor McGregor meet inside the ring, August 26.
The Nevada Athletic Commission chose to remove Bayless because of comments he made last year before the fight was even officially announced.
In an interview with video reporter Elie Seckbach last year, Bayless said, “I wouldn’t want to see,” Mayweather-McGregor. “It’s two different sports. UFC and boxing are two different sports. What would be the point?”
According to Bob Bennett, executive director of the NAC, the decision to remove Bayless came from commission Chairman Anthony Marnell III. Even though Bayless didn’t necessarily mention the odds of an MMA fighter taking on the best boxer in the sport, the statement was considered as such. Check out the what the mma odds makers are predicting here.
Last Friday at McGregor’s media day the conversation came up and McGregor spoke about the topic even before the decision was made.
“His views … he went public on what he thought the fight was,” McGregor told reporters. “He can’t be involved in the event.”
According to the L.A. Times report, “Bennett said Marnell had already made up his mind about Bayless before McGregor spoke.”
“Conor McGregor had nothing to do with Kenny Bayless’ removal,” Bennett said.
“Kenny Bayless was removed from being considered because of the comment. Based on his comment — he shouldn’t be talking to the media unless it’s something mundane, like about how an official works — he was removed long before McGregor said anything.”
With Referee Kenny Bayless out, who is in?
Bayless has worked six of Mayweather’s 12 fights dating back to his 2007 split-decision triumph over Oscar De La Hoya.
Before that, Bayless was in the ring on Oct. 11, 1996, when Mayweather made his pro debut.
As a result of the removal of Bayless, the likely choices to work the Mayweather-McGregor fight are believed to be Russell Mora, Robert Byrd and Tony Weeks.