Mayweather-McGregor referee controversy brewing

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Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has revealed that he may have to object to the choice of referee for the Dubliner’s pro debut in two months time.

McGregor takes on five-weight boxing champ Floyd Mayweather [49(26)-0] in Las Vegas on August 26th, live on Showtime pay-per-view.

A referee has not been confirmed for the mega money bout, but Kavanagh has confirmed that he will attempt to block any moves to make Kenny Bayless the referee.

The Las Vegas man in the middle officiated four of Mayweather’s five final bouts, as well as major fights against Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley. Bayless has come in for criticism from select quarters of the boxing world for his handling of Mayweather fights, with some viewing him as being favourable to the Las Vegas-based Michigander.

Kavanagh revealed his intentions on a recent Q&A session, saying “Yes, I’ll be objecting to that,” when the potential issue of Bayless was raised.

The hullabaloo comes following UFC president Dana White’s furious reaction to an old ES News interview with Bayless, recorded before the fight was confirmed, where he noted how “I wouldn’t want to see it [Mayweather v McGregor].”

Kavanagh has previously stated, in an ESPN interview earlier this month, that his referee of choice would actually be top British mixed martial arts Marc Goddard.

Kavanagh reasoned that “I think Marc Goddard should be the referee.”

“We’re already agreeing to boxing rules, boxing fight, boxing ring — everything is done boxing.”

“So, how about an MMA referee that will understand the inside fighting that will go into this fight?”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]