Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act

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The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, commonly referred to as the Ali Act, is a federal law that was introduced in 1999 and enacted on May 26, 2000 by the 106th Congress to: (1) protect the rights and welfare of boxers; (2) aid state boxing commissions with the oversight of boxing; and (3) increase sportsmanship and integrity within the boxing industry (See 114 Stat. 321(3)(2000)). The Act amends the 1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act by expanding upon legislation against exploitation, conflict of interest, enforcement, as well as additional amendments. [1] The Act was enacted in response to widespread abuse of boxers by means of exploitation, rigged rankings, and rigged matches. [2]

Muhammad Ali American boxer, philanthropist and activist

Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a country. A federal government is formed when a group of political units, such as states or provinces join together in a federation, delegating their individual sovereignty and many powers to the central government while retaining or reserving other limited powers. As a result, two or more levels of government exist within an established geographic territory. The body of law of the common central government is the federal law.

The United States Congress noted through research that there were a number of problems with the sport of boxing which needed to be changed to ensure the safety and protection of professional boxers. Listed are a number of discoveries made by Congress (see 144 Stat. 322(3) (2000)):

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

  1. Professional boxing is not governed by any league, association, or any form of an established organization like majority of other professional sports.
  2. The state officials are not ensuring the protection of the boxers and are not aware or informed of contracts boxers have agreed to.
  3. Promoters are taking advantage of the sport by conducting dishonest business affairs. Promoters are not being punished due to some states being less strict about the legal terms that are stated in contracts.
  4. There is no rating system provided to rank professional boxers thus ratings are subjected to manipulation by those in charge.
  5. There has been a major interference in the sport because of open competition by restrictive and anti-competitive bodies.
  6. There are no restrictions placed on contracts that boxers agree to with promoters and managers. It is necessary to enforce a national contract reform which will guarantee the safety of professional boxers and the public from unlawful contracts and to enhance the integrity of the sport.

The Act received several criticisms. One criticism was that the Act provides rules but leaves the enforcement of these rules to the state without defined guidelines. [3] Other criticism stems from the belief that Congress has no purpose regulating the boxing industry, especially if it does not regulate any other sport. [4]

In May 2016, a bill was introduced to Congress by Markwayne Mullin, a politician and former mixed martial artist, to extend the Ali Act to mixed martial arts. [5]

Markwayne Mullin Oklahoma politician

Markwayne Mullin is an American politician, businessman, and former professional mixed martial arts fighter who has been the United States representative for Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district since 2013. He owns several businesses, which he took over at twenty, when his father became ill. Mullin, a member of the Republican Party, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2012 elections, succeeding Democratic representative Dan Boren.

Mixed martial arts full contact combat sport

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from various combat sports and martial arts. The first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993. The term gained popularity when newfullcontact.com, then one of the largest websites covering the sport, hosted and republished the article. The question of who actually coined the term is subject to debate.

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References

  1. "LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUMMARY". govtrack.us. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  2. Baglio, Scott (2000). "The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act: The First Jab at Establishing Credibility in Professional Boxing". Fordham Law Review . 7. 68 (6): 2257–2259.
  3. Hauser, Thomas (2007). "No one is enforcing the federal boxing laws". ESPN.com. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  4. Baglio, Scott (2000). "The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act: The First Jab at Establishing Credibility in Professional Boxing". Fordham Law Review . 7. 68 (6): 2290–2291.
  5. "Click Debate: What's all this talk about the Ali Act coming to MMA?". MMAjunkie . June 12, 2016.