83°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Nevada Athletic Commission expected to hire new executive director Saturday

By the time boxers Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley arrive at the MGM Grand Garden Saturday for their world welterweight title rematch, the Nevada Athletic Commission should have a new executive director.

Four finalists are scheduled to be interviewed this morning by the commission and from those four, one will be selected to replace Keith Kizer, who resigned Jan. 10 after six years on the job.

“I’m beyond excited,” NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar said Friday. “We have a tremendous opportunity to move forward and we’ve got four excellent choices to pick from.

“To me, it is one of the most important decisions the commission will make.”

Interviewing this morning will be:

— Bob Bennett of Las Vegas, a former FBI agent and current boxing judge;

— Michael Martino of Reno, currently an NAC inspector and former interim executive director of USA Boxing.

— Andrew Foster of Sacramento, Calif., the current executive officer for the California State Athletic Commission;

— Jeffery Mullen of Germantown, Tenn., the current executive director of the Tennessee Athletic Commission and has a strong mixed martial arts background as a judge and referee.

Mark Smith of Las Vegas, was also scheduled to be interviewed but withdrew his candidacy Monday for personal reasons.

The meeting, which will be held in room 1100 at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building (555 East Washington Ave.) begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public.

Aguilar said the four finalists, who were in the initial pool of 350 candidates, share some common threads.

“I see experience in dealing with external groups,” Aguilar said of the similarities. “I see personalities that are even keeled and people with tremendous integrity.

“I also see four people who are independently strong yet have an ability to work with others. That’s very important. I’m looking for someone who can take different individuals with different personalities and can blend them together and work with them.”

The NAC has also been changing its staff in recent months, with a new chief inspector, new inspectors, new MMA judges and referees. Aguilar said the new executive director needs to work with the staff and lead them.

“I want to see someone who is proactive with the commission staff, someone who will motivate them and help them achieve the greatest amount of success,” Aguilar said. “Whether it’s setting up clinics and seminars or being willing to be open-minded and try different things, we need the next executive director to be creative and make our officials the best they can be.”

Aguilar said the commissioners must also do a better job of communicating and working with whoever they hire.

“It is our responsibility to work with the hire and help that person adjust,” he said.

Aguilar said he has reached out to several boxing, MMA and kickboxing promoters regarding the four finalists and he has not had a word of dissent on any of the candidates.

“The feedback I have received has been positive and I’m confident that we will have a new executive director at the end of our meeting,” he said.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Shevchenko says defending the UFC flyweight belt is her number one challenge
UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant title when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 last December. She will put the belt on the line for the first time in Chicago, Ill., when she faces Jessica Eye at UFC 238 on June 8.
UFC title contender Jessica Eye says her move to Las Vegas gives her an edge
Ohio native Jessica Eye says she moved to Las Vegas to get an edge in performance ahead of facing UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 in Chicago, Ill., on June 8.
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
THE LATEST
Deontay Wilder knocks out Breazeale in 1st round to defend belt

Deontay Wilder emphatically got back into the win column Saturday night, knocking out Dominic Breazeale with an overpowering right hand in the first round to defend his heavyweight title.

 
Daniel Jacobs came up light on effort, but not on weight — VIDEO

You’re not beating the A side — especially when it’s Saúl Canelo Alvarez — by taking off the middle rounds of a mega-middleweight fight that unified three championship belts in the division, but that’s what Jacobs did and he rightly paid for it.