McCain still hopeful on regulatory commission

House weighing measure on panel to oversee sport

Boxing

July 01, 2004|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,SUN STAFF

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said a major piece of his long-term agenda to reform boxing hasn't been acted on by Congress but is hopefully not out for the count.

McCain, an ardent fan of the sport - and especially of the late Sugar Ray Robinson - said in an interview yesterday that he is waiting for the House to act on his Senate-passed measure to establish a federal commission to regulate boxing.

Asked what the holdup was, McCain said there may be resistance to adding to the federal bureacracy, "and, of course, very few of them [House members] have any knowledge of the sport."

The senator championed two laws, approved in 1996 and 2000, respectively, to establish minimum standards for boxers' health and safety.

But he says his mission remains incomplete.

"I think that boxing has to have a national commission, as the other major sports do, and I think they need a union, and I say that as a conservative Republican," McCain said.

"It's tragic because so many of these fighters, even if they made some money, end up broke and disabled."

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