ACROSS the globe, fight fans – of the hardcore and casual variety alike – are counting down the days to Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao.

Also of huge interest is who will be the referee in the ring that May 2 night in Las Vegas? Currently, according to top boxing writer Dan Rafael on, there are just six candidates under consideration for third man duties inside the MGM Grand.

Here they are:

Kenny Bayless, Robert Byrd, Vic Drakulich, Russell Mora, Jay Nady and Tony Weeks.

All six men are American, with Drakulich hailing from Reno and the other five living in Las Vegas.

According to Rafael, Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada commission, will initially eliminate three names from the list before offering his final recommendation on April 21.

Fans who are hoping to see a good, action packed fight with little or no interference from the referee will no doubt pick their own favourite when reading the above list. And it’s no secret how, in the past, a number of fans have been critical of the various referees who have officiated a Mayweather fight, who, they claim, helped Floyd on his way to victory by breaking the action often, especially when things got hot for the unbeaten pound-for-pound master.

Of the six candidates, all but one of them has refereed a Mayweather and/or a Pacquiao fight in the past; the exception being Mora.

Some of the notable Mayweather/Pacquiao fights the other five have officiated include:

Bayless: Mayweather Vs. Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana II; Pacquiao Vs. Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton.

Byrd: Mayweather Vs. Robert Guerrero; Pacquiao Vs. Timothy Bradley I.

Drakulich:  Mayweather Vs. Jose Luis Castillo I; Pacquiao Vs. David Diaz, Erik Morales III.

Nady: Mayweather Vs. Genaro Hernandez, Carlos Baldomir.

Weeks: Mayweather Vs. Maidana I,  Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez; Pacquiao Vs. De La Hoya.

As for Mora, he has called some reasonably big fights before – most recently the Jermell Charlo-Vanes Martirosyan clash –  but due to his never before working any bouts involving Mayweather or Pacquiao, he is considered the big outsider to land the May 2 job.

All six referees can be considered veterans, with the youngest, Weeks, being 58 years old and the oldest, Byrd, being 72.

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