CHICAGO (jGLi) – The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) will not be importing any judge to score the upcoming fourth fight between eight-division Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and four-division Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 8.
In an email to this reporter, Keith Kizer, Executive Director of NAC, said, “The Nevada (Athletic) Commission will employ the same selection process (of boxing judges) as in the past.”
Kizer’s comment was sought by this reporter following reports from Boxing Scene, which quoted Mr. Marquez as saying that “I will request that the judges for this (Pacquiao-Marquez) fight will be composed of one Mexican judge, one Filipino judge and one neutral judge.”
All the three prior fights between Pacquiao (54-4-2) and Marquez (54-6-1) were controversial. In 2004, Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the first round but Marquez came to salvage a draw. In 2008, Pacquiao won a split decision over Marquez. While last November, Pacquiao won a majority decision but many boxing writers felt it should have gone either way.
Mr. Marquez said if the NAC would not listen to him, “I’m (still) going to fight as I did in my three previous fights.”
But in the aftermath of the Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Tim Bradley last June, where Bradley won a shocking split-decision victory over Pacquiao, there were clamor for employment of judges outside Nevada for major boxing events in the state.
MARQUEZ HOPEFUL JUDGES “MORE CAREFUL”
World Boxing Organization President Francisco Valcarcel said his WBO had always recommended alternate WBO judges to score in some bigger Nevada fights but the NAC has yet to pick any of their judges.
All the five officials, from all over the world, picked by WBO, reviewed the video of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight and all of them re-scored the fight for Pacquiao.
Marquez, however, said that if his suggestion for an outside judge will not be entertained by the NAC, he is hopeful “the Nevada judges may be more careful the fourth time around.”
Even Nevada Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined calls for the probe of the Pacquiao-Bradley bout, saying, “If an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation. I am confident that there was nothing untoward, I think people just make bad decisions in a lot of things they do, including judging fights.”
Nevada State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto later informed Top Rank chief Bob Arum in a letter that “interviews with the referee of the June 9th fight, two Nevada Gaming Control Board officials and Nevada Athletic Commission Director Keith Kizer turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.”
Mr. Kizer did not respond to questions if Mr. Marquez’s loss of confidence in the Nevada judges has something to do with the “controversial” handling of the protest following the Pacquiao-Bradley decision.
Neither did Mr. Kizer comment if Marquez would be disciplined for his loss of confidence in NAC judges.
It was reported that a Pacquiao fight generates millions of dollars in revenues for Las Vegas. ([email protected])