(Money well spent.)
It looks like all our outrage was for naught. Speaking on behalf of the Florida State Boxing Commission, Department of Business and Professional Regulation press secretary Alexis Antonacci told MMA Weekly that the FSBC does not interpret Seth Petruzelli‘s recent interview comments as evidence of fight fixing:
“We take Petruzelli’s comments to mean that he got paid more to move up in the card, which is accurate and perfectly within the regulations. Because without someone, him in this case, stepping in to be part of the main event, the event would not have gone off…We don’t believe any wrongdoing occurred. That being said, if someone believes that wrongdoing did occur, they can file a complaint with the commission, with the department, and we will look into it.”
According to Antonacci, one or more FSBC officials were present during the negotiations between EliteXC and Petruzelli, and had verified there was no impropriety.
Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer — who may be biased due to his long association with the UFC, but whaddya gonna do — sees it another way. As he told MMA Weekly:
“Hypothetically, if that happened, and we found out later that one of the fighters or both were told, ‘look, you need to fight a certain way,’ or some incentive not to utilize part of your skills, I would file a complaint. I would file a complaint against the promoter; I would probably file a complaint against the athlete as well.”
On the bright side, this sport doesn’t need a scandal right now. Without more proof than some tossed-off remarks on a morning zoo radio show, it’s probably for the best that this all went away. (Though if you want to take Antonacci up on her offer and file a complaint with the commission, go for it…)