by Charles Jay
As almost anyone could expect, Saturday’s decision in the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight has brought out the politicians who are suggesting investigations and/or additional regulation for the sport.
Harry Reid, the U.S. Senator from Nevada and thus someone who considers himself to be a very interested party here, is one of them.
Reid told a press gathering the other day that he was at one time a judge and part of the athletic commission, and appreciates that it is not an easy job to do. At the same time, he recognizes that the vast majority of observers who saw, in their minds, a bad decision can’t be all wrong.
“From all the reports I’ve seen from people on the outside who saw the fight, who attempted to fair in judging the fight, Pac won the fight,” he said.
Reid explained that one of his friends was a judge for the bout, but it’s not clear which of those judges it was. .
Presumably he’ll have a conversation with that judge at some point, if he hasn’t already.
“I feel confident there’s been nothing untoward. If an investigation makes everyone feel better, then do the investigation…….it doesn’t hurt to clear the air and take a look at this.” He indicated high praise for Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who would be supervising it.
What such an investigation could possibly uncover was not explored.
While he did clarify that he was not suspicious of “foul play,” Reid admitted that he was willing to make this an excuse to pounce upon the opportunity to impose federal regulation on boxing.
“Senator McCain and I have been trying for years to get a national boxing bill passed. We have not been able to do it,” he said. “Maybe this will be the impetus that Sen McCain and I get back and work on that again.”
The question that might come into the minds of some people is, if there was nothing “untoward,” why would the a federal boxing commission be necessary? Perhaps to restore public confidence? Maybe. Public confidence is certainly something that could be waning at the moment.
Of course, when you have politicians as artful as these; who are playing at such a high level, one must suspect that there could be “Manny many motivations.” Reid is acknowledged to be close to Bob Arum, and has in fact pushed for adjustments in McCain’s boxing bill to accommodate promoters, including erasing a provision that would allow fighters to become their own promoter (the bill didn’t pass, as we know).
And then there’s the old-fashioned “quid pro quo.”
Interestingly enough, Pacquiao, who could be fairly characterized as an arch-conservative from a political point of view, gave a very enthusiastic endorsement two years ago to Reid, who is regarded as a liberal and has achieved a 19% lifetime rating (very low) from the American Conservative Union.
There is a strong political/religious bond in common, as Reid, a Mormon, has opposed Roe v. Wade in the past, but he has changed his views on gay marriage somewhat. Reid fundamentally feels that marriage should be between a man and a woman, “but in a civil society, I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they want, and it’s no business of mine if two men or two women want to get married,” as he told the Salt Lake Tribune on May 9, reacting to President Obama’s embrace of marriage rights for members of the LGBT community.