Lawmakers consider establishing Federal boxing oversight

Proposals stem from Timothy Bradley's win over Manny Pacquiano

WASHINGTON - Giving voice to the outrage over Cathedral City native Timothy Bradley's controversial split decision win over Manny Pacquiao, two senators introduced legislation Monday that would create a special boxing commission to oversee all matches in the United States and restore integrity to the sport.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who boxed while at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a former middleweight boxer, are pushing the measure establishing the U.S. Boxing Commission, an entity that would carry out federal boxing law, work with the industry and local commissions and license boxers, promoters, managers and sanctioning organizations.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain evoked the words of former sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, who called boxing the "red light district of sports." He said the recent dispute stemming from the welterweight bout between Bradley and Pacquiao "is the latest example of the legitimate distrust boxing fans have for the integrity of the sport."

Earlier this month in Las Vegas, Pacquiao seemed to have the fight in hand, but two judges decided otherwise, giving Bradley a split decision win in the welterweight title bout. The results ended Pacquiao's outstanding seven-year unbeaten streak and left promoter Bob Arum angry and demanding a full investigation by Nevada officials.

"I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight," Arum, who handles both fighters, said after the fight.

Bradley won five of the last six rounds on two scorecards and four on the third. He won 115-113 on two scorecards, while losing on the third by the same margin. The Associated Press had Pacquiao winning 117-111.

"Clearly, the conspiracy theories and speculation surrounding the fight are given life because there are so many questions surrounding the integrity of the sport and how it is managed in multiple jurisdictions," said McCain, who pointed out that professional boxing is the only sport in the United States without a strong, centralized association regulating it.

Under the legislation, all referees and judges participating in a championship or a professional fight lasting 10 rounds or more would have to be fully registered and licensed by the commission. A sanctioning organization could provide the names of judges and referees it considers qualified for that caliber bout, but only the commission could appoint judges and referees to participate in the matches.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • World's most empathetic countries
    Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    World's most empathetic countries

    Michigan State University has put together a list of the most empathetic countries. Researchers interviewed more than 100,000 adults from 63 countries and found "higher empathy countries also have higher levels of collectivism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, self-esteem, emotionality, subjective well-being, and prosocial behavior." Find out the top 10 countries that made the list.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 22
    Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

    On this day: October 22

    The first parachute jump takes place, "Pretty Boy" Floyd is gunned down, football meets television, and The Supremes top the charts, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • Everything you wanted to know about the Electoral College
    William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

    Everything you wanted to know about the Electoral College

    The person ahead in the popular vote might not actually win the presidency. Why? The Electoral College takes the final vote -- not us.

    Read More »
  • Best Clinton, Trump lines from Alfred E. Smith dinner

    Best Clinton, Trump lines from Alfred E. Smith dinner

      Less than a day after their heated final presidential debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton traded shots at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner. Here's a look at the most memorable lines from the event.

    Read More »
  • Most popular Halloween pet costumes
    John Moore/Getty Images

    Most popular Halloween pet costumes

    Halloween isn't just for humans to dress in costume. About 16 percent of consumers plan to dress their pets up too, according to the National Retail Federation. The group put together a list of the top costumes for pets. Click through to see what made the list, including the devil.

    Read More »