WASHINGTON (AFP) – The ripples from Timothy Bradley’s controversial split-decision victory over Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao spread Monday as two US senators called for a national body to govern boxing.
Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona who boxed when he attended the US Naval Academy, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat and former middleweight boxer, introduced legislation that would create the United States Boxing Commission.
The body would be tasked with administering federal boxing law, working with the industry and local commissions, and licensing boxers, promoters, managers and sanctioning organizations.
McCain, speaking on the Senate ﬂoor, said the outcome of the June 9 welterweight world title bout between Bradley and Pacquiao “is the latest example of the legitimate distrust boxing fans have for the integrity of the sport.’’
Undefeated American Bradley won the controversial fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where the fight’s three judges were under pressure to explain their scoring, described by many experts as flawed.
Judge Jerry Roth gave Pacquiao the ffight 115-113, but the other judges, C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, both had Bradley winning by the same score, despite Pacquiao appearing to land the more damaging blows throughout the contest.
According to McCain, professional boxing is the only sport in the United States not regulated by a strong, centralized association.
“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,’’ McCain said.