LOU DIBELLA ON BOXING IN NEW YORK STATE
The State of New York has, at least temporarily, crippled the boxing industry. They are depriving young New York athletes, as well as managers and promoters, of their livelihoods. This is doing NOTHING to improve the health and safety of fighters. In fact the REVERSE is true. Local fighters are forced to leave the state to fight in other jurisdictions; NONE of them have the insurance requirements in a law, supposedly written to allow MMA in our state, that disproportionately affects and hurts boxers and the boxing business. More importantly, the majority of these states require minimal medical safeguards and testing. The State of New York has actually detrimentally affected fighter safety.
The last two catastrophic head injuries that occurred in NYS boxing matches were directly related to mistakes by state appointed officials and failures by political appointees and their personnel to abide by their already existing protocols and directives. Fix yourselves; don’t scapegoat athletes and a sport that is ingrained in the history and fabric of your State.
In 2011, against the advice of the medical staff of the NYSAC, Antonio Margarito was allowed to fight in NYS. This happened pursuant to directives from Albany. What REALLY happened has been covered up. There should be a Federal investigation of what occurred in this instance, as well as the administration and regulation of combat sports in this State since. This investigation should include the circumstances surrounding the lobbying for, and drafting of, the legislation, rules, and regulations that treat boxing in a disparate and less favorable manner than MMA and kickboxing. Apparently 2.2 million dollars of lobbying money, and countless campaign contributions, can cripple small businesses to the advantage of one multi-billion dollar company. Apparently, alleged health and safety concerns can mask the desire to minimize competition and a fair marketplace. I hope that this becomes evident to United States Attorney Preet Bharara.
September 30th, 2016