WASHINGTON, DC, June 13 (AFP) – The top US senator said he backs a probe into the split decision giving Timothy Bradley a win over Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, but said he believed there was “nothing untoward” in the scoring.
Undefeated American Bradley won the controversial high-profile championship boxing bout Saturday in Las Vegas in Senator Harry Reid’s home state of Nevada, where the fight’s three judges were under pressure to explain their scoring which many experts have described as flawed.
“If an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Reid, himself a onetime amateur boxer, told reporters in Washington.
“I am confident that there was nothing untoward, I think people just make bad decisions in a lot of things they do, including judging fights,” he added.
“But it doesn’t hurt to clear the air and take a look at this.”
The bout saw judge Jerry Roth give Pacquiao the fight 115-113, but 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.
The fight’s promoter, Bob Arum, questioned the competence of the judges, the selection process the Nevada State Athletic Commission used to choose them, and the fact that all came from Nevada.
While Arum said after the fight that the scoring was the result of incompetence and not corruption, on Monday he said he would ask the Nevada attorney general’s office “for a full and complete inquiry.”
Reid is a former member of the state’s athletic commission, and said he judged a few fights before entering politics.
“It’s an inexact science,” he said. “From all the reports that I’ve seen by people on the outside who saw the fight, who attempted to be fair and judge the fight, Pacquiao won the fight.”
Reid also said the controversy could be an opportunity for him and Republican Senator John McCain to resume their efforts to get a national boxing bill passed in Congress.
“We have not been able to do it. Maybe this will be the impetus that Senator McCain can get back (to) work on that again,” Reid said, adding that he would talk with McCain about the issue.