When the sweet science turns sour.
April 17, 2014 11:34 AM   Subscribe

What does it take for a state (USA) boxing commission to pull a professional fighter's license?

This is inspired by yesterday's front page post about fixing fights. I have not read that article in full (yet) but I do remember reading about the strategic use of tomato cans to sharpen up-and-coming fighters' skills and generate implausibly good win-loss records. It's my understanding that professional boxers are licensed by state athletic commissions, that they compete in the ring at the sufferance of said commissions and that the commissions have the right to pull a fighter's license if they believe that continuing to compete would pose a threat to his health.

So what does it take for a state athletic commission to pull a fighter's license? At what point do they sit down with a guy and say "Hey, man. We need to talk. This your fifth straight TKO in the first half-dozen rounds. You've reached that age when the young ladies at Starbucks start addressing you as 'sir.' We can't let you do this to yourself anymore. It's time for you to find another career. Sorry. Thanks for everything. Take care."

Now that I think about it, do the various commissions share information? I remember reading a story about a boxer who had his license pulled in one state who was free to compete in another and ultimately died in the ring.

Many thanks in advance.
posted by jason's_planet to Society & Culture (3 answers total)
Most of the state requirements for licensing can be found on the web these days (here's Nevada, for instance). The Nevada State Athletic Commission requires annual recertification, and should refuse to issue a license to anyone who doesn't pass the physical.

Practically, though, any halfway competent manager/promoter will be able to find a doctor who can explain away any but the most obvious and egregious ailments that should disqualify a fighter.
posted by Etrigan at 11:49 AM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I believe that boxing is so corrupt that if a fighter, and his managers/promoters wanted him to fight, that they'd find a venue where that would be possible, no matter what happened to the fighter.

For example: The Slaughter in the Water.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:11 PM on April 17, 2014

Mike Tyson's Nevada license was rescinded after he bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear in a fight.

That happened in 1997. In 1998 they changed their mind and reinstated it. Evidently maiming an opponent isn't considered very serious.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:00 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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