Longtime United States senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain died Saturday.
He was 81.
A boxer in the Naval Academy in the 1950s, McCain was instrumental in the passing of the Muhammad Ali Act, a law designed to protect the health and financial welfare of boxers. He was also a proponent of pardoning former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, which President Donald Trump did earlier this year.
"He was important in everything in boxing—Jack Johnson, the Ali Act," promoter Bob Arum said of McCain, per Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. "He was the boxing senator, along with [former Nevada Sen.] Harry Reid."
Arum went on to call McCain a "great American" who always insisted on not getting special treatment.
"He'd come to a lot of fights," Arum said. "We'd always put him in the commission seats, and he'd always insist on paying for the tickets. I couldn't take the money because it wasn't [charged], so we took the money, added some on our own and gave it to charity. He'd pay $1,000, $5,000. He insisted on paying.
"He was a great American. I didn't agree with him a lot. He was too conservative for me, but you respected him because he believed in those things, and he was the only guy who would go across the aisle and make deals with Democrats."
Other figures across the sports world also took to social media expressing their condolences:
McCain served as a senator in the state of Arizona from 1987 until his death. He was the Republican nominee in the 2008 presidential race, which he lost to Barack Obama.
He was awarded the Purple Heart for his military service and was nicknamed "Maverick" for his willingness to cross party lines when he disagreed with his fellow Republicans.