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Jun 25th
Home Sections Sports Attorney General Clears Pacquiao-Bradley Judges
Attorney General Clears Pacquiao-Bradley Judges PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Sports
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 17:17




(© 2012 Journal Group Link International)


C HICAGO (jGLi) – Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto on Tuesday (July3) told Robert “Bob” Arum, Chairman and CEO of Top Rank, that she did not find any “criminal activity” after she reviewed the controversial welterweight boxing match between Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao and undefeated American boxer Timothy Bradley at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada last June 9th.


In a letter to Mr. Arum, furnished this reporter by Attorney General Masto’s spokesperson, Jennifer Lopez, Masto said, “{U]nless evidence of criminal activity is forthcoming, this matter will be considered closed.”


On June 20, Masto said her representatives spoke to Mr. Arum, also a lawyer, where Mr. Arum “[n]either during the course of this interview nor within your letter do you allege any criminal activity by any parties involved in the Bradley-Pacquiao fight. Since, this office has received no allegations of criminal activity from anyone regarding this fight. Even so, further review was conducted.”


On June 26, Masto interviewed Robert Byrd, who refereed the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. Byrd, a Golden Glove fighter himself, and a military and police veteran, began refereeing in 1980.

When asked if there was anything unusual with the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, Byrd stated, “Pacquiao was late to the pre-bout rules meeting between the referee and the fighters.”


Byrd was told by Pacquiao’s trainers that Pacquiao “was stretching and using treadmill during the scheduled time, which resulted in him being late for the meeting and this delayed the start time.”




B yrd stated the Pacquiao-Bradley fight “was very competitive and close fight.”

Byrd said there was “nothing which would lead him to believe this was not a legitimate fight. He was not aware of any collusion or conspiracies and also was not aware of any inappropriateness by anyone involved in the production of this welterweight fight.”


On June 25, employees of the Nevada Gaming Control Board composed of Chief of Enforcement, Jerry Markling and Chief of the Audit Division, Shirley Springer, were also interviewed.


Markling and Springer said the Pacquiao/Bradley fight “had received no complaints nor were there any reported abnormalities to form a basis for the Gaming Control Board to initiate any type of review of the betting on the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.”


On June 13, Keith Kizer, Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said the Commission “licenses all persons involved with a contest, including contestants, their managers, trainers, and corner men as well as the promoters, inspectors, judges, and referees.”


Kizer said judges and referees were “selected pursuant to the established process during a public hearing, and there were no objections to their selection.” The judges for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight “were properly licensed” and a review of the minutes of the public hearing “reveals no apparent abnormalities in the selection.”


Kizer added the Commission monitors the scoring and process and delivers the scorecards from the three judges to the Commission desk after each round. The judges are to score the rounds individually at the end of each round. When the representative of the Commission checks the scores and it is determined there is a majority opinion by the judges, he informs the announcer. The announcer, then, relays this information to the crowd. The majority opinion by the judges is conclusive and if there is no majority, the fight is considered a draw.


Kizer added the Commission “has received no evidence the established procedures for scoring were not followed in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.”




M asto said, “[d]ispleasure with the subjective decisions of sporting officials is not a sufficient basis for this office to initiate a criminal investigation. Unless evidence beyond mere displeasure is forthcoming, this will be considered closed. While there may be strong disagreement with the decision, the exercise of professional judgment by individuals officiating at a sporting event is not by itself a criminal violation.”


In a faxed letter to Atty. Gen. Masto dated June 11, Mr. Arum said, “I am not asking you to in any way investigate the determination by the judges from Nevada, nor am I asking you to give any consideration to seeking a change in the final outcome. Instead, I would ask that you consider an investigation that would set the record straight on boxing in Nevada for the entire world to see.


“Nevada is still the premiere site for boxing events in the world and an investigation of the process and more specifically the role of the promoters, including my company, that would allow me and my company to defend its reputation against malicious accusations that are damaging not only to us as a reputable promoter but to the sport itself.”


Three judges in the June 9 bout between Pacquiao and Bradley were evenly split in awarding two rounds to Bradley and one round to Pacquiao that according to Mr. Arum spawned “numerous allegations on blogs and from boxing authorities that perhaps, Top Rank, as well as myself, had something personal to gain by what has been described as an extremely poor decision by boxing officials in Nevada.”


Despite the split decision, Arum said, “there was a near unanimous scoring by boxing writers at ringside that had Pacquiao winning in a lopsided decision.”


Even the five judges commissioned by the World Boxing Organization awarded five rounds to Pacquiao while they gave only one round to Bradley, totally overturning the decision of the Nevada judges


The controversy also caused U.S. Senators John McCain and Harry Reid to revive the little-used H.R. 4167 (passed in the 104th U.S. Congress) known as Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996.


If the proposal of Senators McCain and Reid will be passed, the U.S. Boxing Commission will likely take away the monopoly of some states with boxing commissions, which sanction major boxing events, as the USBC will be the one to appoint judges and referees to work a fight after getting a list of names of judges and referees from such sanctioning organization such as World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation or World Boxing Organization. # # #



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