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Sen. McCain Accuses WBC of Meddling

July 19, 2002

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Sen. John McCain accused the World Boxing Council on Friday of interfering with the selection of judges for Saturday’s Vernon Forrest-Shane Mosley welterweight title fight.

According to McCain, the WBC threatened to pull its sanction of the fight if the Indiana Boxing Commission did not agree to replace two judges who had already been chosen.

The commission agreed to replace one, appointing Jerry Roth of Nevada to replace judge Duane Ford, according to McCain, R-Arizona.

``The WBC’s influence on the Indiana Boxing Commission’s selection of officials is not only inappropriate, it is exactly the type of conduct that is destroying the credibility of the sport of professional boxing in the eyes of the public,″ McCain said.

WBC President Jose Sulaiman was traveling Friday and could not immediately be reached for comment, according to John Brister, a WBC spokesman. But on Thursday, in a WBC newsletter issued to refute similar allegations made on a boxing Web site, Sulaiman denied any meddling.

``The WBC does not impose its choice of officials upon a commission or affiliated member. In the case of our good friends in Indiana, we nominated over a dozen officials, of which the Indiana commission _ and only the Indiana commission _ appointed those to judge the fight with our full cooperation, support and approval,″ Sulaiman said.

Indiana Boxing Commission President William Kelsey did not immediately return telephone messages left at his office Friday.

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