Speaking on the US Senate floor, former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain blasted Manny Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Tim Bradley as the “latest example on the legitimate distrust on boxing” as he reiterated his call for a national body to govern the sport.
Republican McCain, who boxed when he attended the US Naval Academy, said the suspicions of rigging in the aftermath of the June 10 bout were “given life” because the integrity of the sport has always been in question.
“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.
McCain and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a known Pacquiao ally, have introduced legislation that would create a US Boxing Commission which would be tasked with administering federal boxing law, overseeing local commissions, licensing boxers, promoters, managers and sanctioning organizations.
Currently, each state has its own boxing commission, which chooses the officials that work bouts held within their jurisdiction.
Under the McCain-Reid legislation, all referees and judges working professional fights lasting 10 rounds or more would have to be registered and licensed by the national commission.
The commission would also be appointing the judges and referees to work a fight from among a list nominated by sanctioning organizations like the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation or World Boxing Organization.
In the case of the Pacquiao bout, it was the Nevada State Athletic Commission that chose the judges that eventually came under fire after the bout. Judge Jerry Roth gave the fight to the clearly dominant Pacquiao, 115-113, but the two other judges, CJ Ross and Duane Ford, both had Bradley winning by the same score.
The Nevada commission, the only body under current laws with the power to alter the result of the contentious fight, has since ordered a review of the judging.