Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is using boxer Manny Pacquiao's controversial defeat over the weekend to push for long-stalled legislation to more strictly regulate the sport.
The Nevada Democrat, who knows Pacquiao and has enjoyed the famous boxer's political support in the past, was asked about Pacquiao's loss Saturday to Timothy Bradley and disputed the judges' decision.
"And from all the reports that I've seen by people on the outside who saw the fight, who attempted to be fair and judge the fight, Pacquiao won the fight," said Reid, himself a former amateur boxer and chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.
From there, he suggested Congress should again take up a boxing regulatory bill he and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have been pushing for the past decade.
"Senator McCain and I have been trying for years -- years -- to get a national boxing bill passed here," he said. "We have not been able to do it. Maybe this will be the impetus (for McCain and I to) get back, work on that again. I haven't had the chance to talk to him in the last 24 hours, but I will."
A McCain spokesman later told the Las Vegas Sun that the senator is considering introducing the bill again, and considers the Pacquiao-Bradley decision a "black mark" on boxing's reputation.
The bill in question would establish a National Boxing Commission to regulate the sport with health and safety standards. The first version of the bill set licensing standards for boxers, judges and referees and registration standards for promoters, trainers and others.
Reid also said he's comfortable with the state attorney general investigating last weekend's decision.
"Our attorney general is a wonderful woman. She'll do her best. I feel confident there's been nothing untoward, but if an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation. I don't care about that at all," Reid said. "I think people just make bad decisions in a lot of things they do, including judging fights. But it doesn't hurt to clear the air and take a look at this."