Boxing Survives Final Round: Action Resumes In New York

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Boxing has survived another round in New York and the fighters are content. So are the promoters, matchmakers, managers, and trainers. Most of all the venues, including Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center are back in business and for the moment that ludicrous million dollar insurance/bond issue has been put to bed.

boxing-at-msgOr was that ever an issue for this once thriving sport in New York?  Apparently cooler heads prevailed within the hierarchy of the politically controlled New York State Athletic Commission, a group of appointees that sits idle most of the time while collecting paychecks as professional boxing in New York fights for its survival.

Victory, at least, for now. A million dollar insurance bond per fighter that promoters could not  afford caused a five-month hiatus, though the enabling legislation was never clarified as promoters played a waiting game as the discussion dragged on.

Promoters put dates on the calendar, the fighters stayed sharp in gyms and retained a better portion of their purses with a tax structure easier to take than a knockout punch by fighting at other venues outside of New York.

Here is the deal, as Promoter Lou DiBella and the PBC go ahead with  January 14th Showtime card at Barclays Center, and the Garden moves forward with a Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs March 18th showdown of the top two middleweights that will be televised on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Outlined, the changes reduce the bond down from a million dollars per fighter to $700,000 per fighter. The average cost to the promoter for a six-bout card is $10,000, however, if the fighter has his own medical insurance, the required bond is waived.

This is boxing and anything is possible. So try and comprehend the particulars and if so then promoters deserve awards of the year for keeping the sport ongoing in New York. Then again, when has anything been done with ease when it comes to promoters, managers, trainers, sanctioning organizations and in this case the athletic ruling body in New York?

If one can comprehend this apparent agreement, was there an issue in the first place? Or was this a ploy by the MMA, as a majority of the boxing community says, to keep boxing out of New York so the ultimate fight competitors could capitalize on their sport in New York?

Posted insurance is to cover the issue of trauma to the head. Safety and well being of the fighter has been more of an issue for the NYSAC because they don’t not want a replay and be liable after heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov collapsed outside of Madison Square Garden three years after a tough ten-round fight against Mike Perez.

Abdusalamov went into a coma and is paralyzed. The NYSAC after the incident went through an overhaul at the top and blame went back-and-forth, to lawsuits that once again gave boxing a black eye.

DiBella, the most active promoter in New York with Broadway Boxing urged the boxing community to petition legislators as he went forward with the PBC and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to spiking interest for the January 14th show that features Badou Jack defending against James DeGale for the WBC/IBF super middleweight championship.

When asked two weeks ago if there was a resolution to the insurance and fight to revive boxing in New York. Dibella said with a smile, “It’s fifty-fifty.” In other words the promoters would kick in some money and the NYSAC was realizing that revenue was lost, more so the tradition of boxing at the Garden and in New York needed to revival.

A revival now that seems to be going forward.  Bob Arum and his Top Rank team, and first to leave the New York boxing scene, because of a profit loss due to tax structure, are in the process of booking a tentative date at the Garden around St. Patrick’s Day.

The New York boxing calendar has more than one tentative date booked in the new year. Perhaps, that one date was indicative that someone held the hope that boxing was not a dead issue in New York.

Take it either way. Boxing fans in New York are content and the fighters will be busy, but until they trade the first punch, this is still a waiting game. But one can never be too certain given the internal politics and decision-making within the New York State Athletic Commission.

But we can be hopeful.

Comment Rich Mancuso:   Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


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