Rep. Edward P. Beard (D-R.I.) is proposing to clean up boxing by establishing a federal board, and will conduct hearings on the matter by The House Subcommittee on Labor Standards March 28-29.
Beard introduced on March 8 a bill to set up a federal boxing board, in the Department of Labor, that could prohibit a match that might be "affected by bribery, collusion, intentional losing, racketeering, extortion, or the use of unlawful threats, coercion, intimidation or violence."
A synopsis of the bill notes that the three-man board could investigate violations with "broad subpoena and hearing powers" and invoke U.S. District Courts to take jurisdiction.
The Federal Boxing Control Act of 1979 provides that victims of violations may sue for as much as $50,000 for punitive damages.
Among those invited to testify are Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc.; Floyd Patterson of the New York State Athletic Commission; Nat Loubet, publisher of The Ring magazine; sportcaster Howard Cosell; representatives of the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council, and of the Rhode Island and Connecticut commissions.
Beard said he envisions, through national registration of all boxers and all matches, accurate records and safety standards to end the jurisdictional disputes among state commissions and between international groups that rank boxers and designate champions.
The congressman said he was distressed by the bickering between the WBA and the Nevada State Athletic Commission over naming ring offcials, with the result that the championship bout between Mike Resoman and Victor Galindez was called off shortly before it was scheduled to be shown on television.
The United States Boxing Association, which has no connection with the federal government, acted last week at its convention in Miami to settle future disputes by an arbitration process and to certify boxers' records by computerization.
The USBA officials have scheduled a meeting March 23 in Las Vegas, when they are expected to announce that elimination bouts to determine champions will be offered on an exclusive basis to a television network.
York Van Nixon, chairman of the D.C. Boxing Commission and a USBA vice president, said bidding for the live bouts will be open to all promoters with the stipulation that those who operate on a national level work with local promoters.
"The USBA is not anti-WBA or anti-WBC," Van Nixon said. "We just think this country ought to have its own champions and we need TV support."