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Nevada state athletic commission in crosshairs

By Zach Arnold | May 29, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

Update: Reid statement on free tickets.

Keep your eyes on Technorati (or try this search) to read reaction to this story.

The Associated Press reports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission gave Democratic senate leader Harry Reid free ringside boxing tickets in exchange for influencing legislation on federal regulation of boxing. Picture here.

Marc Ratner, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission when Reid took the free tickets, said one of his desires was to convince Reid and McCain that there was no need for the federal government to usurp the state commission’s authority. At the time, McCain and Reid were pushing legislation to create a federal boxing commission.

Somehow, I think this may be a minor scandal compared to what could happen in the future… How will UFC respond to this, given that Ratner is now a VP with them?

Topics: All Topics, Media, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

7 Responses to “Nevada state athletic commission in crosshairs”

  1. Erin says:

    Or in comparision to OTHER athletic commissions………

  2. Tomer says:

    I gotta ask…

    How was going to a random fight card show the flaws of proposed federal boxing legislation? Seriously, that card could have been the most well run card in the history of Boxing with no fish scoring/officiating/etc., but it would not be indicative of the current downside of the industry (such as the Augustus/Burton decision amongst other bizarre decisions/fights in recent years).

    And if you were really serious about ethics, why would you at the very least make the appearance of a conflict of interest by accepting gifts from a potential benefactor/loser of legislation? Seriously, even if he is being totally honest (which I wouldn’t bet on), it’s an idiotic gift to accept.

  3. whaledog says:


    Ratner would probably argue that it could show how well states run their boxing commissions, and show that there was no need for federal legislation.

    Does that make sense? Well, I’ll put it this way. If everything and everyone involved made sense, then Reid would have had the sense enoug to pay for the tickets.

  4. Chuck says:

    It’s weird that tjis is now out in the open. Consdering that a National boxing commision already got shot down by Congress. The Nevada state athletic commision is way to powerful as it is. So of course they don’t want a national commision.

    Here is how stupidly powerful the Nevada state athletic commision. Did you know that if a fighter gets suspended in Nevada to fight (this happened to Ray Sefo in K-1 at Battle At Bellagio 3) that fighter is suspeded from fighting anywhere for the length that he/she is suspended, no matter what state or even country. That, to me, is bullshit. Besides all of that though, Nevada does have a great national commision. And yes, it was stupid for Reid to accept those free tickets.

  5. Zach Arnold says:

    [that fighter is suspeded from fighting anywhere for the length that he/she is suspended, no matter what state or even country.]

    Guess what? California’s commissioner, Armando Garcia, is doing the same tactic with Mike Kyle — but for different reasons than Sefo.

  6. Roadblock says:

    I don’t think there will be any fallout from this in regards to the Nevada State Athletic Commission getting in trouble. The story here really revolves around Senator Reid’s involvement with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff is a a character that has been convicted of bribing members of the U.S. Congress. There appears to be a good deal of evidence he also bribed Senator Reid. Reid is the Senate Democratic leader which is a very powerful position in American politics. This is terribly embarrassing for the Democratic party.

    The way the NSAC could come under fire is if it comes out that the Commission employed Jack Abramoff to lobby on its behalf. But the NSAC is the gold standard when it comes to Boxing regulation in the States. I doubt you’ll ever see a Federal Boxing Commission here unless a high profile competitor dies in the ring.

  7. Chuck says:

    I just read the piece about Mike Kyle. Yeah, that was very disgraceful what he did in that fight. He should be suspended everywhere outside of California, including California, of course. Natural instincts my ass…


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