Last year I was very proud to work with Carla Duran and Rose Gracie to help secure hundreds of fighter signatures to petition the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (“ABC”) to create their first ever official fighters committee. Giving athletes an official channel and a voice with their regulatory parent organization.
Today the ABC issued a press release introducing this new official committee to the world.
Named the “Athletes Voice” committee, it intends to formalize its inaugural members in the coming weeks and from there start to reach out to all regulated fighters inviting them to sign up and have their voice heard.
The Committee’s Mission Statement reads as follows:
ABC Athlete’s Voice 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
ESPN broke this story with more details from the ABC’s press release.