U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a one-time boxing judge, backed calls on Tuesday for a probe of a disputed title bout in his home state of Nevada, saying it would help "clear the air."
Reid voiced confidence that Saturday's fight was not rigged, but said he believed American challenger Timothy Bradley was wrongly awarded a split decision by three judges over Filipino Manny Pacquiao.
The 12-round fight ended with Bradley awarded the World Boxing Organization's welterweight title, many observers saying that the stronger and faster Pacquiao dominated the fight, and boxing promoter Bob Arum asking the Nevada attorney general for an investigation.
"I am confident that there was nothing untoward," Reid told reporters at the U.S. Capitol when asked about the bout that generated millions of dollars and rocked the boxing world.
"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," Reid said.
Before being elected to Congress three decades ago, Reid, a native of Nevada and one-time amateur boxer, was on the Nevada Athletic Commission and, at times, served as a boxing judge.
Recalling those days as a judge, Reid said, "It's hard to do. It's an inexact science."
Speaking of Saturday's bout, Reid said, "One of my very good friends was one of the judges to this fight. 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."
Reid said, "I understand how upset everybody is."
"The person that's handled this better than anyone else is Pacquiao," Reid said. "He has said, 'It's a fight and I lost. We'll fight again.'"
(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; editing by M.D. Golan)