Longtime boxing ref Gibson found dead

Longtime Nevada boxing referee Toby Gibson, who spent more than two decades working fights worldwide, died at his Las Vegas home Monday night.

Gibson, 61, was found dead in the garage around 7:30 p.m. by his wife, Barbara.

The Clark County Coroner’s office said the cause of Gibson’s death is pending.

“The entire boxing community is saddened,” fellow referee and close friend Jay Nady said Tuesday. “He was a wonderful man. He was always making people laugh, and he had a big heart. His was the shoulder everyone leaned on and laid their burdens on.”

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Gibson spent 25 years working as a referee. He died 48 hours after working two fights on the undercard of Saturday’s Ricky Hatton-Paulie Malignaggi fight at the MGM Grand Garden. He was the referee for Matthew Hatton’s 10-round unanimous decision win over Ben Tackie.

“He seemed normal, and everything was fine when I saw him Saturday,” said Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission. “He did a very good job on the Hatton-Tackie fight.

“I’m very shocked and sad. Toby was well-liked by everybody, and we’ll definitely miss him.”

Gibson officiated several title fights. He recently refereed a card in Japan and was scheduled to work the undercard of the Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao fight Dec. 6 at the MGM.

“He was a solid referee,” said Marc Ratner, former executive director of the NAC. “He probably worked as many fights as a referee in Nevada over the last 25 years as anyone.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. In addition to his wife, Gibson is survived by two children from a previous marriage, daughter Erica and son Chris.

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