Update August 30, 2017 – Today I spoke with Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports President Mike Mazzulli who advised as follows “It is the expectation of the ABC that all member commissions will ensure that combatants are not under medical suspension in any official ABC database prior to licencing them to compete“.
Mazzulli explains, sensibly, the reason behind this is because “its all about safety“.
Earlier this year Edmonton licenced a fighter for a boxing bout who was under an “indefinite MMA suspension” at the time.
Worse yet, this was not a simple mistake, the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission says since these are different sports this is entirely ok.
On September 30, 2016 Manitoba based fighter Curtis Demarce competed in an MMA bout in Edmonton. Following this bout he was handed an indefinite medical suspension.
On May 13, 2017, the same fighter participated in a boxing card in Edmonton. The MMA suspension was, and is to this day, still in place
The fighter then went on to compete on an MMA card in Lethbridge Alberta who have their own combative sports commission. Lethbridge cleared Demarce despite him still being suspended in Edmonton on the basis that they assumed that he took the necessary steps to have his suspension lifted in Edmonton. He didn’t.
Now Demarce is seeking to compete in his home Province and the tolling suspension is creating an understanable roadblock.
When asked how this fighter competed in Boxing in Edmonton while serving an MMA suspension handed to him by Edmonton the City did not admit it was a mistake, instead they doubled down saying this was ok as they are two different sports.
The ECSC’s representative provided the following explanation for all of this –
“More recently, Curtis Demarce’s name was submitted to our Commission as part of a professional boxing event in Edmonton (May 13, 2017). The ABC BOXING database was checked for suspensions and none was listed. Our ECSC physicians are tasked with the safety and well being of contestants and Mr. Demarce medicals pre-event were approved and then again cleared by our Doctor (weigh-in physical) for the May 13th boxing event.
Mr. Demarce remains under an indefinite MMA suspension until such time as he is cleared by our doctor for MMA. Our ECSC policy differentiates boxer suspensions from MMA or Muaythai contestants.”
This contradicts the plain language of Edmonton’s own Policy #1. This is a written policy crafted “with the safety of the contestant being paramount” and notes as follows
“any contestant who lives outside of Edmonton….must not be under any suspension by any international, national, provincial/state, municipal or tribal sanctioning body at the time of licensing”.
Fighters must also submit “a declaration respecting any suspension currently imposed on the contestant by any licencing body“.
The above written policy does not discriminate between sports. It is baffling to say a medically suspended boxer is fit for MMA and vice versa.
I have asked the Association of Boxing Commissions to weigh in on this position. I will update this article if/when they share their views.