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Longtime boxing judge, Hall of Fame inductee Roth dies at 81

Longtime boxing judge Jerry Roth, who officiated some of the most memorable fights in history during his 34-year career, died Friday in Las Vegas, his daughter, Michele Nimmo, told the Review-Journal.

A cause of death was not available. He was 81.

Born Gerald Howard Roth on May 12, 1941, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Roth began judging for the Nevada Athletic Commission in 1980 at the Silver Slipper. He evolved into one of the sport’s best and most prominent judges, working 225 world title fights — including the infamous 1997 rematch between heavyweight greats Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson at MGM Grand Garden, known also as the “Bite Fight.”

Other notable assignments included Larry Holmes’ 1982 heavyweight title victory over Gerry Cooney at Caesers Palace, the 1989 draw at Caesers Palace between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns for the unified super middleweight title and Floyd Mayweather’s 154-pound title victory in 2007 over Oscar De La Hoya at MGM Grand Garden.

He also judged the 1990 bout between Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor at the Las Vegas Hilton, Manny Pacquiao’s first fight with Timothy Bradley in 2012 at MGM Grand Garden and all three of Holyfield’s fights in Las Vegas against rival Riddick Bowe.

Roth was inducted in 2017 into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame the following year.

“Jerry thoroughly loved the sport of boxing ever since he was a young man. When he became a boxing judge, he was ecstatic,” Michele said in a statement to the Review-Journal. “In fact, it was the highlight of his day when he was assigned a fight. He loved the sport and was so honored that he was entrusted to make such crucial decisions.”

Roth’s career concluded May 2, 2015, when he judged Vasiliy Lomachenko’s victory over Gamalier Rodriguez on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard at MGM Grand Garden.

He was also a successful commercial real-estate broker, but boxing was his passion.

“I was very fortunate to work so many great fights,” Roth told the Review-Journal in 2015 after retiring. “It was an honor and a privilege to serve the state and the athletic commission.”

Roth is survived by wife Bunnie Roth, daughters Michele Nimmo and Andrea Kaufman and son Mark Roth.

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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