Longtime judge Jerry Roth has seen a lot of fights sitting in the best seat boxing can offer, but he has decided to give up his ringside chair.
Roth, 74, is retiring after more than 34 years on the job.
“It’s time,” he said. “It’s been a long run. I figured I’ve had enough.
“But I was always honest and always tried to do the best job that I could.”
Roth, who lives in Las Vegas, began working fights for the Nevada Athletic Commission in 1980 at the Silver Slipper. He went on to become one of the sport’s foremost judges, working 225 world title fights.
Some of Roth’s higher-profile assignments included the Larry Holmes-Jerry Cooney fight in 1982 at Caesars Palace, the infamous “Bite Fight” that was a 1997 rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield at the MGM Grand Garden, and all three of Holyfield’s fights with Riddick Bowe.
Roth also worked the second Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns bout in 1989, the Julio Cesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor fight in 1990, the third Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo bout in 2005, the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Oscar De La Hoya fight in 2007, and the first fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley in 2012.
“I was very fortunate to work so many great fights,” Roth said. “It was an honor and a privilege to serve the state and the athletic commission.”
Roth’s final fight was May 2 when he judged the Vasyl Lomachenko-Gamalier Rodriguez fight on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard at the Grand Garden.
“Boxing’s a lot different now,” Roth said. “You don’t see the slugfests like in the old days. I’m not going to miss that part of it. But what I will miss is the friendships and working alongside my colleagues over the years.”
■ KOVALEV DATE CHANGE — Undefeated light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has had his title defense against Nadjib Mohammedi at Mandalay Bay Events Center moved from July 18 to July 25 to accommodate TV.
The fight will be aired by HBO. Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events, announced Saturday the fighter just signed an extension to appear on HBO.
Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 knockouts), who has moved from Florida to Southern California and attended the Gennady Golovkin-Willie Monroe Jr. middleweight title fight Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., is training at Big Bear Lake for the fight with Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs).
“One more week? It doesn’t matter,” Kovalev said. “No problem. We are already training and preparing. I’ll be ready.”
Mohammedi said of the additional time to prepare: “It’s OK. I won’t overtrain.”
Mandalay Bay will be scaled for a capacity of 6,000 for the fight, about half of what it can hold.
■ BRONER-PORTER SET — The Adrien Broner-Shawn Porter fight was officially announced by Haymon Boxing and Mayweather Promotions, and the Ohio natives will meet June 20 at the MGM Grand Garden on NBC as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series.
The fight will be at a catch-weight of 144 pounds. Porter fights at welterweight, and Broner, a former welterweight champion, now competes at junior welterweight.
Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs), who moved to Las Vegas a few years ago, is coming off a fifth-round knockout of Erick Bone on March 13 in Ontario, Calif. Broner (30-1, 22 KOs), a former three-division champion from Cincinnati, dominated John Molina Jr. in the inaugural PBC on NBC card March 7 at the Grand Garden, winning a 12-round unanimous decision.
Also on the card will be former U.S. Olympic welterweight Errol Spence Jr. (16-0, 13 KOs), who will face veteran Roberto Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
■ REMEMBERING MITCH — Mitch Hampp, who oversaw the daily operation of Top Rank’s gym for years and was an employee of the promotional company from 1987 to 2008, died Tuesday in Las Vegas. He was 76.
The cause of death was not disclosed. No service is planned.
“Mitch was a real good guy and an important part of Top Rank behind the scenes for many years,” Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler said.
Hampp served in the Navy and was a fire chief in his native Honolulu before moving to Las Vegas and landing a job with Top Rank.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.