Officials Announced For Pacquiao – Barrera

Matthew Hurley: The officials assigned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the Manny Pacquiao – Marco Antonio Barrera fight on October 6th at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort Casino have been announced. The referee will be Tony Weeks and the judges will be Tom Shreck, Glenn Trowbridge and Jerry Roth..

The announcement comes on the heels of Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach complaining about referee Joe Cortez who was apparently going to get the call for the fight. Roach felt that Cortez favored Mexican fighters and that he would rather another referee handle the bout. Whether or not this is gamesmanship is arguable but Roach got his way.

The questioning of referees has become an intense issue ever since the nineties when, most famously Richard Steele, who refereed the historic 1991 bout between Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor, famously stopped the bout with two seconds left in the twelfth and final round. Chavez went on to near mythic status in his homeland after the fight while Taylor, who was well ahead on two judges scorecards, spiraled into a depressing tailspin. In 1997 Mike Tyson and his camp didn’t want the late referee Mitch Halpern to officiate his rematch with Evander Holyfield because, according to Tyson, Halpern allowed Holyfield to head butt without warning in their first encounter. Halpern willfully stepped aside and Mills Lane was brought in as a substitute. Tyson then went on to lose by disqualification in the 3rd round of the infamous “Bite Fight” when he chewed off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear and then bit him a second time on the left ear.

Despite the fact that Barrera has revealed himself on occasion to be a down and dirty fighter when he needs to be, witness his hitting of Juan Manuel Marquez on the top of the head when Marquez was already down, or slugging Erik Morales in the mouth at a press conference during the buildup for their second fight, he is nowhere near on the level of a Mike Tyson at his worst. Freddie Roach may have had some real consideration in regards to Joe Cortez or he was just getting a few psychological digs in before the opening bell. Whatever the case may be he got his way and Tony Weeks will handle the bout this Saturday.

Weeks is unquestionably one of the best referees in the business. The most famous bout he worked was the first fight between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo in May of 2005. Weeks stopped the bout in the 10th round after a surging Castillo had knocked down Corrales twice only to be caught flush and rendered helpless on the ropes. It was the last fight Corrales ever won. He died exactly two years later in a motor cycle accident.

The fight will be broadcast on HBO pay per view on Saturday, October 6th.

Article posted on 02.10.2007

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