posted on Apr, 2 2004 @ 10:05 AM
WASHINGTON -- The Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would create a federal agency to oversee professional boxing.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the bill's author, has criticized fight promoters for taking advantage of young boxers and chastised state boxing
commissions for conflicts of interests and for not ensuring the objectivity of fight judges.
Boxing is the only major professional sport in the country without a central regulatory authority. There is no other major professional sport in which
the rules and regulations vary so widely, the General Accounting Office said in a report last year.
The legislation would establish a United States Boxing Administration within the Labor Department. It would license professional boxers, promoters,
managers and sanctioning organizations.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., dropped his objections to the bill after McCain agreed to allow the agency to regulate HBO, Showtime and other cable TV
networks when they act as fight promoters.
"This is a multimillion-dollar industry and it needs federal oversight," Reid said in the Senate Wednesday.
The bill requires fighters to be tested for infectious diseases and medical records to be kept on all boxers. It also sets safety standards that state
boxing commissions must enforce, including an ambulance and doctor at each fight.
It would give the USBA the power to investigate misconduct, including subpoena power, and to suspend or revoke boxing licenses after conducting
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House.