Is Boxing Dead in New York? • Latino Sports

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Is Boxing Dead in New York?

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New York – What’s going on here? Again this columnist refers to the words of Dick Young the great and late New York sports scribe.

This issue here: Boxing in New York that appears to be dead because of a suspicious power play with the New York State Athletic Commission and the arrival of MMA that will hold their first event at Madison Square Garden in November.

Yes MMA invades MSG, the Mecca of boxing in New York, so the home of many historic fights is shut out. And it goes beyond the Garden and the Barclay’s Center seeing the sport go dark. The mainstay promoters, many who promote their fighters and create revenue for the state are also shut out, and there are no dates listed on the boxing calendar for the remaining months of 2016.

And there may not be boxing on the calendar for 2017, or beyond, because of a New York State and Athletic Commission supposed stipulation, a ploy and maybe influenced by the highly popular MMA. Boxing promoters must post a $1-million insurance policy for each fighter to cover insurance for any potential life ending injury that may occur in the ring.

The precaution of avoiding concussions and brain damage is also slapping boxing in the face as New York State regulations, one of the better safety conscious jurisdictions that supervise fights at ringside, want to keep it that way.

At the same time. MMA competition is also safety conscious, though more brutal and it remains to be determined how the commission will scrutinize MMA safety.

One boxing promoter is an advocate of the new bond procedures. Safety, he says is a priority, but to keep his fighters busy the promotion has left town.

With the MMA ready to invade New York, amid reports that the commission has more bookings on the table around the Tri-State area, what constitutes a ploy is the same bond stipulations for their competitors does not apply.

The answers to the puzzle are unknown, and the ramifications are local fighters and promoters taking their business to other venues outside the New York area.

Connecticut and New Jersey, with a history of promoting boxing cards will get more business and the fan base in New York also sees the door has closed. In the meantime, local fighters continue to train at boxing gyms and getting a fight won’t happen in New York.

More so, with 40 or more boxing events in New York this year, and what state governmental officials don’t want to address is the amount of revenue lost. Boxing business and that  illustrious history, for now are a memory.

“The timing is interesting on this,” said Mercedes Vazquez the promoter of Pretty Girl Productions. One of the few female promoters in the sport, Vazquez has contractual obligations to 12 fighters, may coming out of the amateur ranks and getting their careers off the ground.

The four shows per year under her banner, that draw capacity crowds in the downtown Rochester area, are now dark. For now, and until this unresolved situation sees a compromise, Pretty Girl Productions will stage an event on October 19th  and further south in Charlotte North Carolina.

Other promoters who also keep the fighters busy and create revenue for venues and the state of New York, are also looking to take business elsewhere.  Star Boxing and diBella Entertainment are two of the most active and regular promotions in the New York City vicinity. 

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About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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