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Exclusive Interview with Kenny Bayless: Arce/Rojas, His Career & Your Questions

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 23:  Josiah Judah celebrates his majority decision victory against Rafal Jastrzebski of Poland in their super middleweight bout at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
King JSenior Writer IJune 13, 2012

This past Saturday night, not only was the main-event fight result of Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley a major confusing let down, the co-main event Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas also ended in a very confusing premature result.

It had a Fight of the Year-worthy looking first round and then an accidental foul resulting in Arce being knocked down and unable to get up from the canvas to continue fighting.

I had the honor of doing an exclusive interview with the third man in the ring for that fight, Kenny Bayless, and asked him to clarify what happened and why he ruled it a no contest in the second round.

King J: Okay, so it's the big Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley fight weekend and you had the honor of refereeing the co-main event: Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas. It was intended to probably be the fight of the night, and it looked like it was going that way in the first round, what a war! Then in the second round all hell broke loose. Can you clarify what happened in that second round?

Kenny Bayless: Like you said, that first round was great. I was preparing myself for a long evening because Arce knocked him down within the first 30 to 45 seconds of the first round and then towards the end of the round Jesus started to come back.

Then in the start of the second round, there was an unintentional low blow that kind of shook or froze Arce up and then a punch followed after before I could get in and stop the action, and then Arce went down.

Which I first ruled it not a knock down, the ruling was a low blow, but Arce, after a considerable amount of time, showed me no indication that he was going to get up. He kept motioning to his ear, so at that point of time I called the lead doctor come up and started to examine.

He continued to complain about his ear and it was pretty evident that he could not continue. So the doctor informed me to stop the fight and I did, and at that point there was not much we could do because it was an accidental low blow and the fight had to go to a no-contest. 


I also had the opportunity to ask several great questions for Kenny Bayless such as:

King J: Have you ever been accidentally or intentionally hit by a fighter while refereeing a fight? Most vividly off the top of my head I recall when Zab Judah fought Kosta Tszyu and when Judah was knocked down hard referee Jay Nady stopped the fight for Zab got up too quickly and was in no way able to continue fighting. We all saw Judah attack Nady and basically tried to choke him. Anything like that ever happen to you?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)

King J: You have one of the best reputations for being one of the best referees and being a very fair and balanced official, so congratulations on that. However, no one is perfect, so let's talk about one of your very few major mistakes that you probably ever made, and that was during the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight where you ruled a knock down for Mosley when it was clear that he shoved Pacquiao onto the canvas?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: I noticed between rounds you often rehydrate and drink lot of water. Has there ever been a case where any of the fighters you were officiating or yourself drank too much water and had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the fight? Unlike most other sports where there are breaks, you guys are pretty much stuck inside that ring for a solid 36 minutes?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: The fight fans want to know how much (money) do the top referees make? Obviously it appears to be a glamorous occupation to most fight fans. Can you reveal what is the highest paycheck you ever made for a super big fight?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: You are one of the most sought after referees, so how often would you say you work? Like once a month? Every other month or so?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: When they hire you to referee these fights, are they covering all of the travel costs, hotels, food, per diems, etc.?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: Your mentor, legendary referee Richard Steele, has refereed some of the most classic fights of all time, most notably and most controversially was the Taylor vs. Chavez fight. Do you think he made the right call at the end of that fight? What would you have done in that fight?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: There are certain referees like Steve Smoger who are known for pretty much letting the fighters fight on and beat the living crap out of each other and then others tend to stop fights soon as they see a fighter may be getting punished too much but it may be premature, but you are known for being a good judge of knowing when to stop a fight just at the right precise time. So how do you make that call?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: I always get into debates with Bernard Hopkins fans on him being such a dirty fighter and getting away with so many illegal fouls whenever he fights and his fans always seem to say the same thing in defense of Hopkins and that is that it is the referee's job to catch Hopkins and stop him from fouling.

So why is it that referees allow certain fighters like Bernard Hopkins to foul so much going into a fight knowing that he always fouls his opponents with head butts, groin shots away from the referee's point of view? You refereed Hopkins vs. De La Hoya, granted he fought actually pretty clean in that fight, but why do you think fighters like Hopkins always get away with doing all the fouls?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


King J: With the ever growing MMA sport like UFC, would you ever consider refereeing in MMA?

(See the video to see what Bayless responds to this question)


To see all of these questions answered and more. watch the Kenny Bayless Exclusive Interview by King J.


King J is the Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader and a Featured Columnist; he conducted an exclusive interview with Kenny Bayless Saturday June 9th after the fights.


Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323

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