LOS ANGELES – More than a decade after, look who’s back to haunt Manny Pacquiao?
Burt Clements, the boxing judge who cost Pacquiao a win in his first-ever meeting with Juan Manuel Marquez in their world featherweight title showdown in 2004, has been named as one of three officials who will score the Filipino’s match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3 (Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Clements will be joined by Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman as judges while veteran Kenny Bayless was designated as the third man in the ring.
The 62-year-old Clements, now a resident of Nevada, Las Vegas, was put under the microscope during the first Pacquiao-Marquez bout after he scored the opening round 10-7 despite a dominant performance by the Filipino southpaw, who sent the crafty Mexican down to the canvas three times.
His scoring mistake in the first round had him scoring the bout a draw (113-113), allowing Marquez to retain his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association titles as the fight ended in a split draw. John Stewart had Pacquiao winning, 115-110, while Guy Jutras had it for Marquez, 115-110.
Pacquiao could have won the fight by split decision had Clements scored the opening round at 10-6.
Trainer Freddie Roach however, remained mum about the inclusion of Clements as one of the three judges in the biggest boxing event in recent years
“There are couple of judges there that I feel I know I don’t like, but their name wasn’t there. There are a couple of judges that don’t like me so I get them taken cared of right away,” was all the seven-time Trainer of the Year could say when asked about the matter on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time) shortly after working out with Pacquiao at the Wild Card gym.
Bayless, meanwhile, had been a regular fixture in many of Pacquiao and Mayweather fights. He actually referred Floyd’s last fight against Marcos Maidana, while serving as the third man in the ring in Manny’s last US stint against Timothy Bradley.
Both Pacquiao and Roach see no problem with Bayless working the fight.
“He’s a good referee. He’s fair. Gusto ko 'yung the way he does his job,” said the eight-time world division champion.
Roach added, “Best referee in the world. I’m very happy with that.”
All three judges will receive US$20,000 for scoring the fight expected to go down as the richest in all of boxing history, while Bayless is guaranteed to earn $25,000.