Go West Young Man


“Go west young man” is a phrase first coined in the 1800’s that promised of the great new opportunities that existed as the United States expanded its territories through its expansion westward.  But it can also apply to Dave Moretti, one of the newest members of the Buffalo Veteran Boxers Association Hall of Fame.  His decision in the mid 1970’s to relocate from Niagara Falls, New York to Las Vegas, Nevada launched the career of one of the most respected professional boxing judges in the history of the sport.

Who would have thought that the end of the Vietnam War would ultimately lead to the start of a new career in professional boxing? But that’s just what happened to Dave Moretti. Following his graduation from high school and after joining the Navy as an aircraft mechanic, he eventually ended up working for a company called Carborundum, which made bulletproof vests for soldiers during the Vietnam War. However, once the war ended in 1975, and the demand for the vests wasn’t as great, the company laid him off.  With no solid job prospects in the area, Dave packed up his belongings and along with his pregnant wife, headed out to Las Vegas for a fresh start. The decision to move to Vegas followed his father’s earlier move to the drier climate of the Nevada desert because he suffered from emphysema.  His father had agreed to pay for his training at a technical school in order for him to learn how to become a slot machine technician.  Although that training didn’t exactly pay off as Dave never became a slot machine mechanic, his move to Las Vegas did result in various other jobs in the casino industry. After landing a job as a floor manager for slot machines at the Aladdin hotel, Dave

was fortunate enough to meet a gentleman named Harold Buck, who at the time was also judging professional boxing. It was Buck whowas instrumental in introducing Dave to the sport of professional boxing. He began to accompany Buck to the weekly boxing shows at the old Silver Slipper casino. Something about the sport intrigued Dave and at the urging of Buck, he began to score the fights on his own. Buck then convinced Dave to submit his highly unofficial scores to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) so that they could critique his work. Apparently they were so impressed with his scoring that the NSAC eventually put his judging skills to use as he began to judge professional bouts in the state in 1977.

While still judging fights on the side at night, Dave’s day job in Vegas included various roles in the casino industry as he bounced from one casino to the next. After the Aladdin, he also held jobs at the Landmark, the Riviera and the Lady Luck. The first big milestone in Dave’s legendary judging career came on July 26, 1981 when he was selected to judge his very first world title bout. The WBC bantamweight title fight ended when the champion Lupe Pintor TKO’ed the challenger Jovito Rengifo in the eighth round.  Dave judged his first “super fight” the next year in 1982 when he judged the WBC heavyweight title fight between champion Larry Holmes and challenger “Gentleman” Gerry Cooney.  This fight had Dave paired with two other legendary judges of the sport, Duane Ford and Jerry Roth.

The list of great fighters that Dave has judged during his 40 year career in the sport reads like a “who’s who” of boxing:  Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Julio Cesar Chavez, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao just to name a few.  A list of the championship fights that Dave has judged also reads like a highlight reel of some of the biggest and most historic bouts of the past 30 years:


  1. Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney                                      06/11/82

  2. Michael Spinks vs. Larry Holmes                                    09/21/85

  3. Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler                           04/06/87

  4. Mike Tyson vs. Trevor Berbick                                        11/22/86

  5. Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor                        03/17/90

  6. Evander Holyfield vs. Buster Douglas                            10/25/90

  7. Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton                              12/08/07

  8. Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar DeLaHoya                          12/06/08

  9. Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez          09/19/09

  10. Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto                                 11/14/09

  11. Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto                             05/05/12

  12. Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez              11/12/11

  13. Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez                          09/14/13

  14. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao                     05/02/15

  15. Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto                                    11/21/15


However, just as important as his expertise is at ringside when scoring a bout is the respect and admiration that Dave has from his peers in the boxing world.  Adjectives such as “most competent,” “world class” and “honorable” are often heard when asked of them to describe Dave Moretti.


Although still going strong at 72, Dave’s career as a world class boxing judge was highlighted on September 23, 2016 when he was honored by being inducted into the Buffalo Veteran Boxers Association Hall of Fame. Along with five other inductees, Dave became part of the 20th class of honorees during the organization’s annual dinner and awards ceremony held at the Ilio Dipaolo Restaurant in Blasdell, New York. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *