The Beginning

Kenny Bayless grew up in Berkeley California and was introduced to boxing via ABC’s Wide of World of Sports.

He quickly became a die-hard Mohammed Ali fan and follower of the sport.  After graduating from college, he was recruited to teach school in Las Vegas.  He was happy for the job opportunity but excited for the chance to get up close and personal with the sport of boxing.  He was hired by the Clark County School District in 1972, and at his first opportunity, began to regularly attend fights.

Golden Gloves

In 1977, Kenny looked for a way to become more involved in the sport and began volunteering with the Golden Gloves program as an amateur judge.

Around the same time, he became friends with Johnny Lehman, a glove man for several promoters and a boxing inspector for the Nevada Athletic Commission.  Kenny assisted Johnny in his various tasks which allowed him access to more fights and the opportunity to compare his scorecards with the professionals.  Jerry Roth, a Nevada boxing judge, was a mentor he regularly sought out.  Jerry asked him one day, “Why don’t you try refereeing?”  Kenny thought about it and decided, “Why not?”  He sought the help of former Nevada referee, Richard Steele, and prepared himself to enter the ring as an amateur referee in 1982.

In 1985, when Johnny retired from the commission, he recommended Kenny for his position. 

Kenny was hired and in addition to working the corner as an inspector, he continued volunteering with the amateur program with the hopes of eventually becoming a professional referee.   After 12 years of refereeing for Golden Gloves, and 6 years with the Commission, his opportunity finally came.

Professional Referee

Kenny was appointed as a professional referee in 1991, and in 1994, officiated his first world title fight.

He has been third man in the ring for thousands of bouts and over 100 title fights.  He has refereed around the world–Japan, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, China, Switzerland, Russia Mexico as well as the U.S. Kenny was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.


Notable Fights Include:

Deontay Wildervs. Tyson FuryWBC World Heavyweight Title
Deontay Wildervs. Luis OrtizWBC World Heavyweight Title
Manny Pacquiaovs Keith Thurman WBA Super World Welterweight Title
Tyson Furyvs Tom SchwarzWBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title
Lucas Martin Matthyssevs. Manny Pacquiao WBA World Welterweight Title, (Lampur Malaysia)
Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd IBF, IBO and WBA World Super Welterweight Title I
Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul AlvarezIBF, IBO, WBA and WBC World Middleweight Title
Carl Frmpton vs. Leo Santa CruzWBA Super World Featherweight Title
Jessie Vargas vs. Manny PacquiaoWBO World Welterweight Title
Saul Alvarez vs. Amir Khan, WBC World Welterweight Title
Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Andre BertoWBA & WBC World Welterweight Title
Sergev Kovalev vs. Nadjib MohammediIBF, WBA and WBO World Light Heavyweight Title
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny PacquiaoWBC and WBO Welterweight Titles
Keith Thurmanvs. Robert GuerreroWBA Welterweight Title
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jesus Ruiz WBC World Super Bantamweight Title
Alexander Povetkin vs. Charles TakamWBC Heavyweight Title (Moscow, Russia)
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.vs. Marcos Maidana WBC and WBA Welterweight Titles
Timothy Bradleyvs. Manny PacquiaoWBO Welterweight Title
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.vs. Saul (Canelo) AlvarezWBC and WBA Welterweight Title
Jermell Charlovs. Harry Joe YorgeyWBC Continental Americas Title
Manny Pacquiaovs. Juan Manuel Marquez4th Meeting
Danny Garciavs. Amir KhanWBC Light Welterweight Title
Manny Pacquiaovs. Shane MosleyWBO Welterweight Title

For more notable fights from earlier years, click here.

For a complete list of Kenny’s fights, click here.