(Fighters, the ABC will be creating their registration system for fighters who wish to participate on the Committee shortly. One easy way to stay informed is via the non profit Fighting Foundation who will update you once the ABC’s registration process is complete)
After hundreds of current and retired fighters signed an open letter to the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (“ABC”) asking for a formal Fighters Committee to be formed the ABC listened and I am proud to announce this project is over the finish line! (Big thank you to Carla Duran, Rose Gracie, ABC President Michael Mazzulli and everyone else who helped make this happen!)
This month the ABC has formally created the Committee. Kim Sumbler, the New York State Athletic Commissioner, has agreed to be its chair. I have been asked and have gladly accepted to sit on the inaugural committee to help get it off the ground.
The Committee adopted a Mission Statement which is self explanatory and is set out below. In the coming weeks the inaugural Committee will be finalized with a list of volunteer members (including both regulators and fighters) and from there regular meetings will be scheduled allowing fighters to directly participate with the Committee so their views, concerns and comments can be shared and voiced directly to the ABC.
Bottom line, every fighter who ever wanted to have a voice with the ABC now has a meaningful opportunity have one.
ABC Fighters Committee Mission statement:
The purpose of this committee is to build a bridge between fighters and regulators and to provide fighters a meaningful opportunity to have a voice in their sport.
A two way platform for fighters to voice their concerns to regulators and equally an opportunity for regulators to create educational opportunities for fighters.
Composition and proposed working structure:
The committee will be comprised of retired fighters, active commissioners and approved volunteers. It will be chaired by Kim Sumbler (NYSAC). The overarching function of the committee members will be to invite fighters from across regulated disciplines and keep an active list of fighters who are participating.
The committee members will not advocate any personal special interests. They will owe a duty to the fighter community at large and ensure they honestly and accurately represent fighters voices to the ABC. They will ensure they are not speaking on behalf of other interests (such as managers, promoters, organizations or anyone else whose interests may intersect with fighters)
The committee will
- poll fighters on important subjects (such as proposed changes to the unified rules) and report back to regulators to ensure their views are considered before changes are made.
- listen to fighters concerns directly and coordinate the most pressing issues and bring these for discussion / consideration to the appropriate ABC committees or the membership at large
- meet occasionally to discuss developments (with not just committee members but also fighters at large are free to join these open discussions)
- Present annually at the ABC conference
Regulators are invited to work with the committee and extend opportunities to fighters who wish to better understand vital issues such as how scoring works, appeal rights, contractual literacy workshops, regulatory rights with regard to managers and any other educational opportunities that can advance fighter interests in the sport.
Once the committee is fully operating the goal is to set up a structure for participating fighters to be able to democratically vote for who they want their representatives to be on the committee.