Shortly after Timothy Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao thanks to one of the worst decisions in boxing history, activists pledging to cure the Sweet Science of what ails it sprung into action. This result proves that the sport needs fixing, they insisted.
Well, not to burst anyone’s bubble or anything, but there is no fix for what transpired on June 9.
In one of the most Washington-esque moves imaginable, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) came out in the days following that awful, insulting bout and pledged to establish a U.S. Boxing Commission. According to them, this governing body would work with local commissions and license boxers, promoters, managers, etc. to ensure there is some oversight on various boxing-related matters.
Theoretically, this commission would prevent things like Bradley’s victory from ever happening again.
Why are they so adamant about this newfound pet project? Well, according to McCain, because boxing is the "red light district of sports,” and because what happened on June 9 "is the latest example of the legitimate distrust boxing fans have for the integrity of the sport."
Look, let’s ignore the blatant pandering that’s going on here for a second. (Isn’t it amazing, though, that Republicans and Democrats can come to a bipartisan compromise on the Sweet Science but nothing else?) What McCain and Reid are proposing is totally sensible and logical – unfortunately it doesn’t actually address what happened between Bradley and Pacquiao in the slightest.
How would a single governing body have prevented Bradley from winning that fight? It’s not as though the judges involved were working their first match ever; each had some level of experience in doing what they were charged to do that night. They unquestionably did a horrible job, but it wasn’t for a lack of credibility coming in. There is no reason to assume that a boxing commission wouldn’t have granted them permission to work the fight.
Duane Ford is a former chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission for goodness sake – who was going to tell him that he wasn’t qualified to judge this thing?
"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, while arguing in favor of his idea.
Boxing desperately needs a single governing body – this has been true for years. But it's also important to be honest, and a single governing body would in no way have altered the end result of Pacquiao versus Bradley.
McCain and Reid have the right solution for cleaning up boxing, but they’re already lying about precisely how effective it can be.
Memo to Washington: there is no fix for horrible judging.