SBD/Issue 96/Leagues & Governing Bodies

UFC Lobbying Congress To Avoid Regulation Under Boxing Bill

UFC, concerned that it "could come under federal regulation by a proposed new commission to regulate boxing that two senior lawmakers are pushing," spent $240,000 last year lobbying Congress to "help head that off," according to Frederic Frommer of the AP. The proposed legislation "would establish a U.S. Boxing Commission under the Commerce Department, charged with protecting the health, safety and general interests of boxers." The commission would "oversee all professional boxing matches and license boxers, promoters, managers and sanctioning organizations." UFC lobbyist Makan Delrahim said that UFC officials "don't care whether boxing is regulated, as long as their sport isn't included," and that the organization's biggest task is to "convince Congress that the sport has cleaned up its act" since the '90s. U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who is sponsoring the boxing legislation in the U.S. House, said that there was "no intent to cover mixed martial arts when the bill was drafted, and he didn't think the legislation would apply to it." King said that he would "prefer to keep the bill focused on boxing, because adding mixed martial arts might complicate chances for passage." U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the bill's Senate sponsor, declined to be interviewed. Frommer noted the Obama administration "has yet to take a position on the bill" (AP, 2/4).

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