Calls for Pacquiao-Bradley probe come 20 years after another controversial decision sparked a federal investigation. Nothing's changed
Jun 15, 2012 -- 2:23pm

Tim Bradley’s controversial win over Manny Pacquiao has resulted in a series of calls for investigations.

Promoter Bob Arum has asked the Nevada Attorney General to look into the majority decision favoring Bradley – a curious position, since Arum is Bradley’s promoter as well as Pacquiao’s.

Arum’s phony crusade – an effort to cut down on the money he will have to pay Bradley in a rematch – hardly seems like it serves Bradley’s best interests.

Maybe someone should investigate that.

Also, Harry Reid, the U.S. Senator from Nevada, has also called for an examination of the decision by the three judges in Saturday night’s fight at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

That is certainly an understandable position by Reid. After all, Pacquiao has campaigned for Reid in Nevada. No conflict of interest there.

The timing of the calls for a probe is ironic, because it comes on the 20th anniversary of the last time a United States senator was outraged over a boxing decision.

In February 1992, Dave Tiberi, a middleweight contender from Delaware, lost a controversial split decision to International Boxing Federation champion James Toney in Atlantic City.

Tiberi’s home state senator, William Roth, was so incensed over the decision that he called for an investigation, which revealed that the judges in the fight were improperly selected and two of the three were not licensed to work in New Jersey.

Roth also charged that the referee was inexperienced, and that all of these failings were a result of the IBF trying to control the outcome of the match.

Then came two days of hearings into boxing corruption in August 1992, which featured testimony by a former FBI informant of bribes paid, and former John Gotti hit man Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, who testified about betting on alleged fixed fights.

Also shown during the hearings were videotapes of an undercover FBI investigation that showed meetings with Rev. Al Sharpton and mob figures talking about working with promoter Don King (who pleaded the fifth in his deposition to investigators).

Arum was also deposed by investigators, and testified about some questionable payments to boxing officials. Eight years later, Arum testified in a New Jersey courtroom that he paid $100,000 in bribes to boxing officials. Four years after that, in another probe, Arum’s offices were raided by the FBI, and financial records and contracts were confisciated.

In 1992, Arum also testified about boxing sanctioning bodies, “These sanctioning bodies are clearly great rackets…it is great action. You collect sanction fees. You don’t account for the money. You go all over the word, You are wined and dined. It is really great business if you can get it.”

One of those sanctioning bodies, the World Boxing Organization, just announced it will review Bradley decision win over Pacquiao, a move that Arum told the Associated Press he hopes will be the first step in “clarity” in the judging of the fight.

Great business if you can get it.

By the way, James Toney’s fight with Dave Tiberi? Still listed as a win for Toney.


sports, boxing, pacquiao, bradley, arum

Return to: Thom Loverro Blog