As most know, referee “Big” John McCarthy has had his issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for years and more importantly, it’s Chief Executive Director Keith Kizer.
To that end, McCarthy has been critically outspoken to the point of getting himself (unofficially) blacklisted from officiating events in Nevada. The odious part of that is, of course, is that Big John is one of the best officiates in all of MMA and in an era where complaints about the quality and credentials of officials are rampant, banning McCarthy from refereeing fights in Vegas makes no sense.
It’s even more abhorrent when the man has publicly apologized for his remarks, yet still has not been able to retain a license; last applying in 2010.
As it turns out and in the wake of the Mayweather / Alvarez judging debacle, McCarthy appears to have had enough.
In an interview with the MMA Hour, Big John once again let loose on Kizer and in doing so, pulled no punches in his remarks and for all intents and purposes, called him a liar. At the core of his criticisms was one particular judge (C.J. Ross), her scoring of the Floyd Mayweather fight as a draw, and Kizer’s subsequent defense of that scoring.
As McCarthy stated:
"There comes a point where someone lies’ so much that you get tired of hearing (the) things that come out. The truth is Keith Kizer is a person that does not know combative sports. He's never been part of them. He's never done them. He puts people in there at times that maybe shouldn't be put (in). You tell me why C.J. Ross said the Floyd Mayweather fight was a draw. Did you watch it? My god, I had it 11-1. It wasn't even close. So if you're doing that, you keep putting those same people back, you don't care about the fighters. You don't care about them as athletes. You don't care about their livelihood, and you know what, you shouldn't be in that job, and if someone doesn't like what I said, too bad."
However, McCarthy makes sure to draw the line at the commission itself, saying that he has nothing against them; however, they are too much under the (poorly informed) influence of Kizer and have acted as nothing more than a rubber stamp for his decisions. To this end, license or no license, McCarthy said he doesn’t want anything to do with “it” (the commission), while Kizer is running the show.
As Big John put it:
"They sit there and that person (Kizer) is the one that picks their referees, the one that picks their judges and they've had some problems. If he's in charge, if he's the executive director, I want nothing to do with it.”
McCarthy raised another interesting point and that’s the clash between the professional and the personal. Again, as we all know Big John is a competent referee, perhaps the best, yet, he’s been unable to get sanctioned in Nevada.
The only logical answer for that is that someone, maybe Keith Kizer, is preventing it. Other than a personal beef with the official, what could possibly give Kizer or any member of NSAC a reason to deny McCarthy a license? To most, it would seem like a logical jump in conclusions; that McCarthy is being banned from Nevada, because “someone” simply doesn’t like him.
As McCarthy stated:
"I think there comes a point where things become very personal for people and their reason for doing them is sometimes to say, ‘I have power. You don't. Let me show you what I'll do.' That's their choice. But in the end, usually it'll catch up to them and I think maybe now it's catching up to them."
The “catching up” that McCarthy is referring to could well be NSAC Chairman, Bill Brady. As it turns out, Brady was so embarrassed by the recriminations emanating from the scoring of the Mayweather fight, that he felt it necessary reach out to Nevada’s governor (Brian Sandoval) and apologized for the embarrassment it had caused the state.
To that end, Commissioner Brady seems to have had enough and is letting it be known that the commission’s rubber stamp days are over and that there will be “serious questions” for Kizer in the future.
In synopsis, it seems that (this time) something might actually be done about the issue of bad judges and referees, or at least that's feeling that Brady is leavingus with. Of course, the ironic thing for MMA fans is that it’s taken one bad judge and two bad score cards in boxing, to get it accomplished.
Will everything be perfect, now or Kizer lose his job? Probably not, but at least judge C.J. Ross has gone (stepped down due to the public outrage over her scoring) and that’s one less dubious judge that we all have to worry about, and that’s the type of step forward the commission is looking to make.
That selection takes place Sept. 25 at NAC meeting. Brady: "We will have serious questions for Keith & we won't be a rubber stamp anymore."— Steve Carp (@stevecarprj) September 18, 2013