Boxing Organizations Require States to Adopt Health and Safety Standards
15.06.05 - Washington, DC – In a historic agreement today, the world’s four major professional boxing sanctioning organizations have agreed that they will not sanction world title fights in states that do not meet minimum health and safety standards..
Article posted on 15.06.2005
“The United States Congress has been discussing improvements to health and safety standards for several years,” said IBF President Marian Muhammad. “Today we have addressed this problem as an industry without any cost to the taxpayer or the need for a new federal agency.”
Under the agreement, states would have one year to adopt the minimum standards before losing out on lucrative world title fights.
“We can’t force a state to adopt minimum health and safety standards to protect fighters, but we can prevent them from profiting from world title fights,” said WBA President Gilberto Mendoza.
The four bodies have sent a letter to the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) asking the ABC to determine the minimum standards that each state will be required to adopt. Once the standards have been determined, the sanctioning bodies will notify state boxing commissions that are out of compliance and inform a commission’s state legislature if the commission determines that legislative changes are necessary for compliance.
“The world organizations have implemented many medical changes for the betterment of the sport and have found reciprocity in the countries and state commissions of the world, from reducing 15 to 12 rounds to implementing mandatory anti-doping tests,” said WBC President Jose Sulaiman. “Our common goal is to secure that each fighter is protected with adequate medical and safety standards.”
The four organizations also plan to invite congressional and industry representatives to a summit that could highlight other actions to improve the sport.
“This is only our first action,” said WBO President Francisco Valcarcel.
One state athletic commissioner who was available for comment noted the historic nature of the announcement, “This is a magnificent step forward and an outstanding initiative” said Larry Hazzard, Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. Referring to medical requirements, he noted “In New Jersey we test everything except a fighter’s toe nails.”
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