By Nick Giongco
Joe Cortez, the New York-born Puerto Rican referee, is the one being eyed by Freddie Roach to referee the May 2 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton, the celebrated trainer from Hollywood told Manila Bulletin on Wednesday. “Cortez is strict and he will not allow Hatton’s excessive holding,” Roach said. But since Hatton’s people and fans thought that Cortez’ penchant to break up fighters will not suit the Briton’s attacking style, he won’t be surprised if Cortez’s name will not be on a list that will be submitted for appointment. “They (Hatton’s people) blamed Cortez for that loss,” said Roach. The identity of the referee and the three judges won’t be known until the final two weeks of the fight but Roach has an option. “If Cortez is not appointed, there’s Jay Nady, who is also strict like Cortez and who won’t allow too much holding.” Roach has been widely quoted that Hatton’s does a lot of holding during in-fighting and he is working hard with Pacquiao to prevent that from taking place in the actual fight. Still, Roach can’t help but express his concern over the choice of the third man on the ring.