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Florida commission to investigate Petruzelli-Slice

The Florida State Boxing Commission has opened a preliminary investigation to determine if EliteXC attempted to influence the Seth Petruzelli-Kimbo Slice fight at EliteXC: Heat.

After initially saying that it would not look into the matter, the commission changed its mind after repeated calls from ESPN.com.

The commission will need to determine if the fight constitutes as a "fix" if EliteXC suggested to Petruzelli to stay on his feet rather than go on the ground, which offers Slice -- EliteXC's poster boy and arguably its only male draw -- better odds. Slice, a knockout artist, offers little threat on the ground.

EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen tells ESPN.com that he offered Petruzelli a knockout bonus, a submission bonus and a fight of the night bonus. That can be considered standard. However, Lappen had previously stated only a knockout bonus was offered.

Petruzelli accidentally sparked the issue when he told a Florida radio station on Monday: "They didn't want me to take him down, let's just put it that way. It was worth my while to try to stand up and punch with him."

Here's what others had to say:

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Head of EliteXC Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, in an official statement:

"Seth Petruzelli was offered a fee to fight Kimbo Slice, plus a knockout bonus, a common practice throughout the industry. EliteXC organized and promotes fights. We have not? do not? and will not suggest or dictate fighters' strategies or tactics. How the fighters perform in the cage is at the sole discretion of the athletes involved."

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Former EliteXC president Gary Shaw, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times:

"[I wouldn't hesitate to] go to a fighter and say, 'We're looking for a stand-up fight,' You're not asking him to throw a fight. You're talking about a fan-friendly fight, not about protecting Kimbo."

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UFC president Dana White, in an interview with the Boston Herald:

"It disgusts me. I've been busting my (expletive) for 10 years flying all over the planet to show everybody what a great sport this is and what amazing people are involved in it. Then CBS throws this guy who fights at people's barbecues on the main event because they're trying to compete with us, and he gets knocked out in (14) seconds by a guy who didn't win 'The Ultimate Fighter' and couldn't fight in the UFC. Then the guy turns around the next day and says, 'The promoters actually paid me to not go to the ground with this guy. They paid me to stand up,' which I'm pretty sure is illegal."

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Sports opinion show host Jim Rome, in his ESPN show "Jim Rome is Burning":

"I'm not saying that EliteXC was looking to fix the fight, but of course they were looking to manipulate the outcome. By definition, you do that when you put a guy in that you think has no chance of winning, and they wouldn't have put him in if they thought he had any chance of beating their franchise fighter. And knowing that their guy was vulnerable on the mat and that that would be Petruzelli's best chance to win, is it possible that they made it worth his while not to go down there? Possible? Who knows?"