Don King told congressman yesterday he opposes a bill to establish a federal boxing control board. Rival pormoter Bob Arum supported the bill at the hearings.
"I can conceive of virtually no aspect of American life less demanding of federal government control or regulation than that of professional prize fighting," King testified before the House Labor Standards Subcommittee.*tArum said, "As a major international boxing promoter, Top Rank unqualifiedly supports the creation of a federal boxing commission. However, the bill should be revised to provised a far-reaching role for the federal boxing board on the international boxing scene.
"It is not without significance that none of the three major posts in the World Boxing Association - the presidency, the ratings committee chairmanship and the championships committee chairmanship - is now held by a United States citizen.
"United States boxers do not as a rule get treated very well in the ratings. Thism I believe, is largely because of lack of effective U.S. representation."
King asked rhetorically, "Why, in this era of multimillion-dollar contracts in all aspects of professional sport, should boxing contracts be the only contracts subject to government review, at any level?
"Why should a contract of Lary Holmes, a recognized world heavy-weight champion (World Boxing Council version), be more subject to scrutiny than Reggie Jackson's to play right field, Julius Erving's to slamdunk, or O.J. Simpson's to run off tackle?
"If I were to rank, in order of importance, problems requiring the attention of the federal government, surely professional sports, including boxing, would rank very close to the bottom of the list."
Arum pointed out, "Mike Rossman earily defeated Victor Galindez (for the WBA light heavyweight title) on Sept. 15 in New orleans.
"But, lo and behold, Victor then was rate No. 1 contender over a whole host of U.S. boxers who have not had a chance to fight for the tittle, and Rossman is compelled to once again fight Galindez for the title, and Rossman is compelled to once again fight Galindez for the title.
"A federal commission participating in the international arena would be able to press for larger representation. This would be based on the number of fighters in the United States, the number of shows, the economic factors-primarily the amount of money invested in international boxing by the United Stated television networks."
John Condon, vice president of Madison Square Garden, testified, "I am concerned that (the bill) might well aggravate, rather than alleviate, the bureaucratic complexities which often work against the fighters and the fans."
John M. Prenderville, chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission said, "It is the unanimous opinion of our commission that some form of federal input is necessary for the regulation and control of boxing within the United States."
Prenderville was accompanied by Floyd Patterson, member of the commission and former heavyweight champion.