In his quiet, unassuming way, Kenny Bayless has developed into one of the world’s best boxing referees.
No one had to tell the WBC. The organization selected Bayless as its Referee of the Year, and he was honored last week at the WBC Convention in Chengdu, China.
“I didn’t expect it,” Bayless said. “But it shows that all the work I’ve put in over the years is appreciated.”
Bayless, 58, has worked 40 world title fights in 17 years as a referee. Before that, he spent eight years as an inspector for the Nevada Athletic Commission.
“I think the biggest change in me is I’ve become more relaxed in the ring over the years,” Bayless said. “Before I became a referee, I developed a look and, as the years went on, that look became more relaxed.”
Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said the WBC made a good choice.
“Kenny Bayless has been known to be one of the sport’s top referees for a while, and it’s no surprise to me or the commission to see him receive such recognition,” Kizer said.
Bayless will work Saturday’s junior welterweight fight between Ricky Hatton and Paulie Malignaggi at the MGM Grand Garden. The judges will be Glenn Trowbridge, Duane Ford and Jerry Roth, all from Nevada.
• DE LA HOYA-PACQUIAO OFFICIALS — The athletic commission selected referee Tony Weeks to work the Dec. 6 fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden. The judges will be Adalaide Byrd and Dave Moretti of Las Vegas, and Stanley Christodoulou of South Africa.
The 12-round bout, which is sold out, will be at 147 pounds. No title is at stake.
• MARQUEZ BANNED — Lightweight Archie Ray Marquez was suspended for eight months by the athletic commission after testing positive for the diuretic Furosemide when he fought Oct. 11. He also will be fined an amount yet to be determined.
Marquez fought on the undercard of the Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver fight at the Palms, scoring a fourth-round knockout of Samuel Morales.
• CROWN CARD CANCELED — Crown Boxing canceled its card scheduled for Friday at The Orleans because of sluggish ticket sales. Fans can use their tickets for the next card Jan. 30 or get a refund at The Orleans box office.
• AMATEUR UPDATE — The Silver Nugget will host an amateur card of 20 bouts Dec. 12. The card will be shown on the Internet on TVSBoxing.net.
The Nov. 8 amateur card at Elite Boxing’s Warrior Training Center had nine local fighters win on the 19-bout card. Among the winners were UNLV sophomore Bradley Blankenship, Valley High School freshman Jovanni Diaz, Del Sol High junior Herberto Rico and his brother, Oscar Rico, and Foothill High sophomore Luis Cortes.
• CALIFORNIA CHANGE — Armando Garcia abruptly resigned as executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission after three years.
No details were given for his resignation. An interim replacement is expected to be named at Tuesday’s CSAC meeting.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913.