Is the new Bill legalizing MMA pushing Champoinship Boxing away from New York?

Tuesday August 30, 2016 In a highly anticipated rematch, Daniel Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) will defend his 160-pound title against Sergio Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) on September 9 in one of two title fights from Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. Before we see these two hit the center of the ring, Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) and Richard Commey (24-0, 22 KOs) will battle for a vacant 135-pound title.

Jacobs vs. Mora was planned to take place at the Barclays Center, but with the new insurance policy the promotion had to find another place outside the state of NY and found a new home for the event at Reading, Pa.

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Back in April a Bill was passed by the State Assembly legalizing mixed martial arts in New York. The UFC held a media conference call about this new Bill and you can listen to the call by clicking here. Bellator MMA President Scott Coker issues a statement when the Bill was announced and you can read it here and World Series of Fighting CEO Carlos Silva made a statement as well here. Following the legalization of MMA in New York, former UFC Middleweight Champion and Long Island native Chris Weidman joined INSIDE MMA to give his reaction about the news and you can watch it by going here.

With the new Bill, it raised insurance rates for all combat sports from $10,000 to $50,000 for general medical coverage. Also, if a fighter suffers a traumatic brain injury the insurance policy is $1 million. Numorus boxing promoters locally and nationwide said that they can’t afford the $1 million insurance bond and that they will take their business elsewhere and outside the state of NY.

New York-based promoters Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment and Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing addressed a letter to James Leary, general counsel for N.Y.’s Department of State which oversees the state’s athletic commission. The letter stated that the additional $1 million insurance for brain injuries is “unnecessary, arbitrary, and excessive and should be eliminated.”

This Bill is making promoters leave New York and they are not planning to come back. Former Golden Boy exec Richard Schaefer has stated that he is starting his own Los Angeles-based promotional boxing company called “Ringstar Sports.” The promotion will be based in Los Angeles, but Schaefer also stated that he wants to bring his promotion to New York.

Schaefer stated the following about the insurance policy:

“It’s a horrible thing, New York is already expensive to start with considering travel and hotel costs. I helped start boxing at Barclays [with Golden Boy] and had all intentions of going back. But now with this you have to take a long hard look if you want to take an event to New York.”

The insurance requirements will probably cost a promoter around $7,500 for a 10-bout card according to Ellen Melchionni president of the New York Insurance Association.

Randy Gordon who hosts “At the Fights” on Sirius XM and former editor-in-chief of boxing magazine The Ring. He stated that the policy will prevent smaller promoters from holding fights in the state of NY.

Gordon stated:

It’s just going to make it absolutely almost impossible for any small-time promoter, boxing or MMA, to put on shows in the state of New York.

Gordon continues to say:

We’re all holding our breath. I mean, listen, fighters deserve to have a big insurance policy cover them. But there’s got to be a happy medium, and I’m not sure what that is. Because if it’s a $1 million policy, you’re just not going to see the events in New York.

As we all remember, the UFC sold the company to WME | IMG for $4 billion dollars. They are the global leader in entertainment and sports with a portfolio of more than 800 owned, operated and/or commercially represented events. WME | IMG have a proven track record of building leading sports brands. WME | IMG will partner up with Silver Lake Partners and KKR as new strategic investors, along with MSD Capital, L.P. and MSD Partners, L.P. which will provide preferred equity financing.

Gordon stated about the UFC:

Of course, the UFC could do it. They have the bucks, When you’re promoting, you would like to have a monopoly and that’s what the UFC has. They have most of the big fighters, they put on most of the big fights, and if there is a million-dollar policy on the head of every single fighter in MMA, the UFC is going to be the one company that can afford it. And they still will run in New York.

Is MMA pushing away Boxing from NY with this new Bill? Will we see less Champoinship Boxing events in NY? Comment below and share your thoughts…

By: Roberto Villa



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