Boxing | Senators John McCain and Harry Reid Propose Legislation to Improve the Sport
On Monday June 11, U.S. Senator John McCain (R) of Arizona and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada introduced legislation that would create a U.S. Boxing Commission.
The senators are proposing this legislation after the highly controversial split decision awarded to Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The two high-profile senators, both hardcore boxing fans, intend to bring 'integrity' to the sport with a boxing commission.
Under the legislation, all referees and judges involved participating in a professional bout scheduled for ten rounds or more would have to be fully licensed and registered by the commission.
A sanctioning organization would provide the names of judges and referees it considers qualified for a particular bout, but only the commission could appoint referees and judges to participate in the match.
Speaking on the Senate floor earlier this week, Senator John McCain quoted the immortal boxing/sports writer Jimmy Cannon when he referred to boxing as "The red light district of sports."
McCain also said the recent dispute over the scoring of the Bradley-Pacquiao fight "Is the latest example of the legitimate distrust boxing fans have for the integrity of the sport."
After the bout, promoter Bob Arum, who represents Manny Pacquiao and newly-crowned WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley, expressed his anger demanding there be a "full investigation" by Nevada officials. Arum added, "I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight."
Fight judges Duane Ford and CJ Ross scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley, while Jerry Roth scored it by the same margin for Pacquiao. Also, Bradley won a seemingly incomprehensible five of the last six rounds on two scorecards.
Is this legislation a good idea?
Some would argue the government needs anti-corruption legislation for itself more than boxing.