APRIL 10, 2009
(STAR) By NICK GIONGCO - Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum revealed that the officials referee, three judges and fight supervisor for the May 2 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas will be carefully selected.

Their identities should be known within the next two weeks.

"We'd be having a teleconference call then we'll know," Arum, who heads Top Rank Inc. told the Bulletin a few days ago.

Being Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank is the lead promoter of the bout in close coordination with Hatton's outfit, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP).

Arum said those who will get the juicy posts will be "all American officials" although he didn't say if they would all come from the state of Nevada, the state that has full jurisdiction over the scheduled 12-round super-lightweight match that will be sanctioned by the Florida-based International Boxing Organization.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) will be supervising the bout and if it is decided that Top Rank and GBP will have no choice but to select from its roster, there'd be plenty of respected and experienced men and women to choose from.

Accredited by the NSAC are some of the world's recognizable third men on the ring such as Joe Cortez, Tony Weeks, Kenny Bayless, Jay Nady, Vic Drakulich, Robert Byrd and Russell Mora. Adalaide Byrd, Burt Clements, Lisa Giampa, Robert Hoyle, Al Lefkowitz, Ricardo Ocasio, Jerry Roth, Pat Schellin, Glenn Trowbridge, Eric Cheek, Duane Ford, Dick Houck, Patricia Morse Jarman, Dave Moretti, CJ Ross, Herb Santos and Paul Smith make up the pool of judges.

Told about the crucial choice of the referee, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach has only one concern. "I am hoping that they get somebody who won't allow too much holding," said Roach, obviously referring to Hatton's rugged style of fighting.

Roach had openly spoken about his choices Joe Cortez or Jay Nad, who are both known for their aversion to excessive clinching and holding.

But since Hatton's people will likely turn down Cortez since he is being partially blamed for the Briton's loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Roach is not hopeful that he'd get what he wants.

Asked whether he is worried about the choice of judges, Roach brushed it off.

"No, we'll knock him (Hatton) out, anyway."

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved