LOS ANGELES - Top Rank Promotions boss Bob Arum has denied growing allegations that he had a hand in the latest blot to boxing’s reputation.
Not in any way did he try to influence or rig the outcome of the welterweight title showdown between superstar Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley, Arum said amid the uproar over the undefeated American’s victory via split decision.
"I did nothing. I want to be perfectly plain that I did nothing, nothing to course this result," said the veteran boxing promoter in an ESPN interview.
Arum's outright denial came on the same day he submitted a formal request to the Nevada Attorney General's office for a “full and complete” inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of the fight.
In a press statement, the 80-year-old promoter said "the public has a right to know. The fighters have a right to know. The only way to restore fans' confidence in boxing is by letting an independent body investigate every detail of the fight no matter how big or small.
“Sunshine never hurt anyone."
A 4-1 underdog, Bradley scored one of boxing's biggest upsets of all-time in the fight against Pacquiao, where two judges inexplicably scored it 115-113 for the American while the other had it by the same score for the Filipino.
Suspicions about the match result being rigged have spread like wildfire, with Arum the man caught at the center of the storm.
Accusers insist Arum, who has Pacquiao under contract with Top Rank until 2013 and also promotes Bradley, had the biggest motivation to rig Saturday’s (Sunday, Manila time) fight since a November rematch has solved his problem of looking for a bankable bout for the Pacman later in the year.
"Nobody’s more embarrassed (with the result) than myself. The decision was totally incomprehensible," Arum added.
The Harvard-educated boxing veteran said that should an investigation push through, he is very much willing to submit himself before the commission just to be able to clear his name.
"It’s very import that the Attorney General investigates everybody, including the promoter, me, to see whether I had any type of influence on who the judges are, or if there was any conversation with any of the judges," he added.
The controversy has again led Arum, who has been in the boxing business for more than four decades, to call for a new system of scoring a fight.
“I think it's time for open scoring, I think with open scoring we will have a lot better result," he said.
Meanwhile, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer has set a review of the video of the fight which he will do separately with each of the three judges, but made no mention of what would come out of the process.
"This is by no means any kind of negative thing. I want to have them come in and take a look at the replay with me, which happens from time to time, and which they were going to do on their own anyway. With competitive bouts, sometimes you agree and sometimes you disagree with others' round scores," said Kizer told RingTV.com.