Search icon


29th Jun 2017

McGregor team will object to assignment of Kenny Bayless as referee for Mayweather bout

Dana White's not a fan either

Darragh Murphy

There are going to be many arguments between now and August 26.

Once the world tour, press conferences and face-offs get underway between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, we can expect tension by the bucketload in the build-up to the biggest fight of the year.

The camps of both McGregor and Mayweather will almost certainly clash over the referee assignment for the 154lbs showdown.

Mayweather would be more than happy to see Kenny Bayless in the middle of the ring, considering the veteran official has been known to allow for the American’s tactics in the past.

The same can’t be said for McGregor’s team, with the UFC lightweight champion’s coach revealing that he would personally object to the appointment of Bayless if it came to it.

During an AMA on, Kavanagh insisted that he would protest Bayless’ presence as third man in the ring.

“Yes, I’ll be objecting to that,” Kavanagh wrote.

Bayless took charge of Mayweather’s long-awaited clash with Manny Pacquiao in 2015 but Kavanagh has even suggested that he would be more comfortable with a mixed martial arts referee overseeing McGregor vs. Mayweather.

“If I’m speaking plainly, and I don’t know how much trouble this will get me in, I think we’re going to have a hard time finding a fair referee and a fair set of judges,” Kavanagh recently told ESPN. “It will be very difficult for a 50- to 60-year-old boxing referee to not go into this bout a little bit biased.

“Actually, I’ll throw this out there, I think [U.K.-based MMA referee] 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?”

UFC President Dana White has echoed Kavanagh’s concerns about Bayless, tweeting the below last week.