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Hall of Fame judge tapped for KL bout


PhilBoxing.com




The cast of judges for WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse’s first title defense against Manny Pacquiao in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday is still being finalized and so far, the only sure official is South African Stanley Christodoulou who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.

It was earlier announced that the judges would be Christodoulou, Jean Robert Laine of Monaco and Nelson Vazquez of Puerto Rico. But international matchmaker Sean Gibbons said yesterday only Christodoulou has been confirmed. A judge from France and Glenn Feldman of Connecticut may be named as the other judges.

Las Vegas-based referee Kenny Bayless was recently appointed to work the main event in place of Puerto Rico’s Luis Pabon. “We asked the WBA to be fair and balanced so everyone liked Kenny who’s a great referee, neutral, non-Latino and non-Asian,” said Gibbons. “We are now awaiting confirmation of the two judges as only Stan has been named. Most likely, it will be Glenn and a Frenchman.”

Christodoulou, 74, is in the record books as the first referee ever to work world title fights in 17 weight divisions and the third to register 100 assignments. In 1986, Christodoulou came to Manila to officiate the WBA flyweight title bout between Hilario Zapata of Panama and Dodie Boy Penalosa at the ULTRA. Zapata retained his title on a unanimous 15-round decision. As a referee, Christodoulou gained global recognition for his work in fights involving Tommy Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello and Roberto Duran.

Filipino international referee and judge Silvestre Abainza said it’s not uncommon for assignments to change before the weigh-in. He said Vazquez was taken out of the judges’ panel because of his Latino background. Matthysse, an Argentinian, is also Latino. “MP Promotions wanted a neutral referee from Las Vegas and Bayless was the choice,” said Abainza.

Abainza himself will be a judge in the IBF flyweight title fight between South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane and Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem in the Kuala Lumpur undercard. Feldman and Puerto Rico’s Samuel Conde are the other judges. Feldman was a judge in two Pacquiao fights against Jessie Vargas and Mayweather.

Bayless, 68, has worked nine Pacquiao fights in his checkered career. Two of the fights were losses to Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez. He was the third man in the ring in Pacquiao’s knockout wins over Erik Morales, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. The father of three, Bayless is a prostate cancer survivor and started his refereeing career in 1991. He has a Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Photo: Hall of Fame judge Stanley Christodoulou at the International Boxing Hall of Fame headquarters in Canastona, New York.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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