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Washington, DC- In a move that was long expected here, the United States Senate on Monday gave its approval to a proposal to go forward with legislation that would create and impanel a three-man Federal Boxing Commission that would govern the sport.  Authored by Arizona Senator John McCain, the man who penned the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, this will be an amendment to that 1996 Federal law.


According to Sen. McCain?s office, the United States Boxing Commission is an attempt to restore integrity and improve the badly maligned image the sport has in the eyes of a majority of people.  The ?voice? vote approving the measure will establish licensing guidelines for managers and boxers, (not promoters?).  And it is intended protect and improve boxer safety.


McCain said he wants to insure fair financial treatment of boxers.  There will be guidelines that include a national computer base of boxing ?personnel,? and a medical database as well.  The ranking of boxers will be done in a fair and uniform manner and will also be controlled by the Commission.  Be advised, that last sentence is a deathblow to sanctioning bodies like the WBC, IBF, WBA, WBO, etc.


One piece of the legislation will force promoters to use only approved referees and judges on cards.  If the officials are not USBC approved and licensed, their services cannot be utilized at all.  An ambulance and a ringside MD, this is also part of the proposed law.  Besides being common sense, it would insure that fighters like Greg Page won?t have to lay critically wounded as he did in Louisville years ago for better than 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive.  The House will next vote on the matter.  Should they approve, and I think they will, the President?s signature won?t be too far behind. 

This is truly the right step in the right direction. How about adding promoters to the list of "licensed" entrants. Hmmm?

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Do any of you know what this will do for US boxing? Cmon lets get some enthhusiasm started here.


Timing is everything, in sports and politics. So it was interesting the U.S. Senate didn't want to wait until Mike Tyson blows into town next month before trying to reform boxing.

If Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire made for a compelling hearing, imagine bringing Iron Mike to Capitol Hill a day or two before his scheduled June 11 fight in Washington, D.C., with Kevin McBride.

It might go something like this:

Q: "Um, Mr. Tyson, can you explain why you bit Mr. Holyfield's ear off and threatened to eat Mr. Lewis's children?"

A: "Boxing is a hurt business, and you're going to get hurt if you keep asking stupid questions like that."

Q: "Well, Mr. Tyson, is it true you were paid $300 million in purses and have nothing left?"

A: "What's true, Mr. Senator, is you're not going to have anything left if I get out of this chair and come over there. ..."

On second thought, maybe the politicians did know what they were doing Monday when they passed legislation that would create a three-person federal commission to regulate boxing.

They did it on a voice vote with little notice or fanfare, a far cry from the circus-like atmosphere that surrounded the congressional hearings on steroids in baseball.

The problem is, the senators didn't go far enough. They should have added an amendment banning Tyson from setting up his traveling freak show anywhere in the country, much less in the nation's capital next month.

They also should have banned women's boxing - or at least bar any woman from boxing who got into the sport because she was inspired by the movie, "Million Dollar Baby."

And while they were at it, how about doing something really good for boxing and giving us just one true heavyweight champion instead of four pretenders?

The legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. John McCain - which still has to be passed by the House of Representatives - is a well intentioned effort to standardize boxing regulations and protect the health of fighters by making state commissions follow certain rules.

It even takes a stab at forcing the sleazy sanctioning bodies to quit playing games with the careers of fighters in determining their rankings.

States' rights activists argue the federal government shouldn't have to be involved in boxing. But it's hard not to when states do things like allow former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe to fight despite medical evidence he has suffered brain damage or let Ann Wolfe fight a man because that's the only way she can make any money in this sport.

Those kind of outrages - and the "Million Dollar Lady" farce Bob Arum is promoting between Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker in July - make it easy for critics to trash boxing. The sport is often its own worst enemy.

Somehow, though, boxing carries on and occasionally finds something inside itself to intrigue us once again. Surely it can be corrupt and vicious, but at times it can also be most noble and exciting.

That showed Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas when boxing fans were treated to a rarity - the best two fighters in their weight division fighting each other. And, wow, did lightweights Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo fight.

For nine rounds they went toe-to-toe in one of the most thrilling fights of recent times. Then, in a 10th round that will forever live in boxing lore, Corrales stopped Castillo in an ending so magnificent even Hollywood couldn't have scripted it better.

Half blinded and just about to be counted out after being knocked down for the second time in the round, Corrales somehow got off the canvas and then finished off Castillo with a flurry of punches on the ropes.

It was a reminder for why the sport still holds such a hook for us despite its many failings. This was mano a mano, sport at its most basic and most brilliant.

There's another fight Saturday night that has the potential to be pretty good, too. Big punching Felix Trinidad, a national hero in Puerto Rico, will meet Winky Wright, a fabulous boxer who is just now starting to get his due, in a middleweight fight.

Both stay out of trouble, act like professionals in the ring, and wouldn't think of biting anyone's ear, much less eating their children. They don't care that the fight is not for a title because there are so many titles these days that fans don't care about them, either.

The fight will be supervised by the Nevada Athletic Commission, which sets the gold standard for boxing regulation, and the fighters will be tested for illegal drugs, including steroids. If neither fighter stops the other, three ringside judges will do their best to figure out the winner.

It's not a perfect system, but it sure beats the way they calculate winners in Olympic gymnastics and figure skating.

Yes, boxing is an easy target and, often times, rightfully so. You can easily make a case that it needs federal regulation just to save the sport from itself.

But, for two Saturday nights in a row from Las Vegas, boxing looks pretty good, warts and all.

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I was absolutely thrilled to hear about this. Senator McCain has been pushing for this almost as long as I can remember and he's just never given up. I think boxing fans everywhere owe him alot for what he has done and is doing for the sport.

Thank-You Senator John McCain!!! :)

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I think that this will restore some credibility to boxing, but it is fighting crime in boxing while Bush is committing war crimes. Lets deal with the real criminal.

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I think that this will restore some credibility to boxing, but it is fighting crime in boxing while Bush is committing war crimes. Lets deal with the real criminal.


The real crime is bringing your garbage into this thread. BTW, hows that turkey doing? You got the news article embroidered on your favorite jacket yet?

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I think that this will restore some credibility to boxing, but it is fighting crime in boxing while Bush is committing war crimes. Lets deal with the real criminal.


...dude, really, this is the Sporting Arena, not the political arena. Stick to the topic or take it to the Real World Issues section. We all care about what goes on in the world, but we're talking boxing right now. :)

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