The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Senator McCain introduces bill to protect boxers

On January 25, 1999, Sen. John McCain has introduced legislation aimed at protecting fighters from exploitation and requiring promotors to be more open about their financial dealings.

"We must prevent boxers from being cheated" and the public from being denied "the benefits of a truly honest and legitimate sport," said McCain, R-Ariz., who submitted the bill January 25 with Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev.

The bill, named for Muhammad Ali, would restrict coercive option contracts by which promoters control a boxers' career, such as contracts forcing a boxer into a long-term deal in exchange for a shot at a world title. It would require promoters and organizers of major boxing events to disclose more financial information and to inform state boxing commissions of charges, costs and fees they take out of a boxer's purse. Identical legislation passed the Senate last October by voice vote, but the House did not take up the measure before the session ended. In hearings last July, both World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman and International Boxing Federation counsel Walter Stone endorsed the bill, although Sulaiman voiced opposition to provisions that would change the rating practices of boxing bodies.

McCain and Bryan in 1996 authored legislation to strengthen health and safety measures followed by state boxing commissions. That legislation became law. See Current Federal Legislation.

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