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Boxing Icon Kenny Bayless Bids Farewell to Refereeing After 32-Year Career

Legendary boxing referee Kenny Bayless has decided to hang up his gloves after more than three decades of officiating professional fights.

In a heartfelt Facebook post, the 73-year-old announced his retirement as a referee in Nevada, where he has long been a respected figure in the boxing community.

Born in Berkeley, California, Bayless has overseen some of the most iconic bouts in recent boxing history. His resume includes officiating the 2004 heavyweight clash between Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jr., the historic showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr.

and Manny Pacquiao in 2015, the first encounter between Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez in 2017, and the epic rematch for the heavyweight title between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in 2020.

While stepping away from the professional circuit, Bayless mentioned in his post that he plans to continue his involvement in boxing by refereeing exhibition matches. Additionally, he expressed interest in taking on a role with one of the sport's four major sanctioning bodies (IBF, WBO, WBC, WBA).

"I'm happy to announce that I am retiring as a referee from the state of Nevada," Bayless wrote. "After more than 4 decades in the ring—32 as a professional referee and another decade in the amateur, I'm satisfied with my contribution to the sport of boxing and grateful for my accomplishments."

"I want to thank God for watching over me and the fighters for these many years," he added. "I want to also thank my wife, my family and friends for their continued support, and all my boxing fans. Hope you enjoy the pictures of some of my memorable bouts! See you at the fights!"

Despite his retirement from regular refereeing duties, Bayless remains committed to boxing and looks forward to potential future roles in the sport.


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