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A Note From NYSAC Director David Berlin

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OPEN LETTER FROM NYSAC ED DAVID BERLIN

May 19, 2015

To The Boxing Community,

May 1 marked my one-year anniversary at the New York State Athletic Commission. It has been a productive year for the Commission and a year that has witnessed the growth of professional boxing in New York.

New York is looking to have its busiest year in decades in 2015. Already, there have been 17 boxing cards in New York State, small and large, downstate and upstate. Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous boxing venue and the one most closely tied to boxing’s rich history, and the Barclays Center, one of the top modern venues for the sport, are each looking to host several important boxing events during the year, events that bring the energy and excitement of big-time boxing to New York.

Behind the scenes and out of the spotlight – a spotlight that rightfully belongs only to the men and women who climb into the ring to fight – the Commission has been hard at work. The Commission’s core functions are to regulate the sport, to oversee boxing events, and to make certain that medical and safety precautions are in place to protect the health of fighters. We have developed, and continue to develop, a competent and professional staff to undertake these functions. In the past year we have built a small but efficient office staff to handle the daily work of the Commission and we have added substantially to our event-day staff. Inspectors received a pay increase for the first time in 25 years, putting their compensation in line with the high demands of the job; they are our eyes and ears in the dressing rooms and in the corners, making sure that regulations are followed, that the fighters are clean and that the sport is conducted in a fair and safe manner. In addition, several workshops were held for inspectors, and clear protocols were developed for both inspectors and ringside physicians. These protocols ensure that the Commission is consistent in its practices so that boxers and their teams will know what to expect when they come to New York to fight.

What the boxers and their teams can expect in New York is a transparency and consistency that ensures that the sport is run in an open, honest and fair manner. Toward that end, we have worked to make sure that the Commission website provides up-to-date information to the public, including a calendar of upcoming boxing shows, all forms that boxers and their teams require in New York, bulletins describing current Commission practices, and New York’s boxing rules. In addition, a Boxer Information Sheet is provided to boxers and their teams at weigh-ins so that they have easy access to New York’s basic rules and practices and will know what to expect on fight night.

With the boxer as our focal point, we have developed a new Bout Contract that uses clear, straightforward language to describe the agreement between boxer and promoter, and that puts boxers on notice of what, if any, deductions will be made from the fighter’s purse. This allows boxers to know, at the time a contract is signed, exactly what they can expect to earn for the fight, and it avoids the misunderstandings that stem naturally from finding out only after a fight is complete that money is being deducted. In a departure from past practice, we have also worked with promoters to conduct weigh-ins at or near the venue where the event will be taking place in order to save boxers from the burden of traveling to the Commission and allow them time to rest for the next day’s fight.

All of our new practices are developed with the fighter in mind, and there is nothing more important than making sure that the boxer who earns the victory in the ring has his or her hand raised at the end of the fight. That means having qualified, competent officials in place who will exercise proper judgment. We have held referee and judge seminars in order to make sure that our officials are following consistent standards. These seminars also give referees and judges an opportunity to share ideas and to compare approaches toward sometimes difficult situations; in this way, they are prepared for the many scenarios that may arise in the ring. In addition to seminars, I have frequent conversations with individual judges and referees to discuss their work in a particular fight as I believe that open and constructive dialog gives all of us a chance to grow as professionals.

Other new practices also serve our goals of clarity, transparency and fairness:

  • We have put in place a selection process for referees and judges in world title fights that gives the boxer and his or her team a voice in who is selected.
  • We have created a clear set of criteria defining who is eligible to fight for the New York State Championship title, criteria that are in keeping with the significance of the title.
  • We have changed the boxer license application to provide for the possibility of drug testing at any time during the licensure period and not only on the night of a fight.
  • We have developed a clear and consistent process for weigh-ins that makes the official scale available to the boxers prior to the official weigh-in but provides just one chance for boxers in non-title fights to step on the scale at the official weigh-in. In title fights, boxers who weigh in heavy are given two hours to make weight.
  • We have required that promoters provide the same brand and model of gloves to both boxers in a bout. If a boxer wants to wear a different brand or model, then the boxer or his team must supply two pairs of the gloves (or four in a title bout) so that the other boxer will have the option of wearing either the gloves provided by the promoter or the same gloves that his or her opponent is wearing.
  • We encourage the boxer’s trainer to have a representative watch the opponent wrap and glove up prior to a bout.

In addition to our efforts to create a professional environment that protects boxers and advances the integrity of the sport, I am particularly proud of our program to promote boxer health through the NYSAC Health Insurance Initiative. Through a series of open houses at the Commission, at boxing gyms and at weigh-ins, the Commission has arranged for boxers to receive one-on-one assistance in enrolling in health insurance plans through the New York State of Health Marketplace. Our success is measured in the number of enrollees. Sixty-nine boxers and other boxing people who did not previously have health coverage (and 90 individuals in total when family members are included) are now enrolled in health insurance plans. Boxers who are injured in the gym can now go to a doctor and know that they will be covered, and they can maintain their good health by going for an annual check-up.

There is, of course, much work to be done, work that includes updating and modernizing New York’s boxing rules to bring them in line with current accepted practices in boxing. Toward that end, New York has abolished the three-knockdown rule, properly leaving the appropriate moment of a stoppage to the judgment of qualified referees. Continued work on New York’s rules is a project that we plan to move forward on in the coming year.
Just as we will work on the rules to bring them in line, where appropriate, with other jurisdictions, New York is committed to working with our fellow Commissions in order to bring uniformity to the sport in many other areas. This shared goal of bringing uniformity to the sport will help to ensure the long term health of boxing and will benefit the boxers who will be able to compete according to the same rules and practices wherever they ply their trade.

We have made great progress in the past year but of course the work continues. I look forward to the challenges ahead as we do our part to make sure that boxers are protected, that the integrity of the sport is maintained, and that boxing continues to thrive in New York State.

Sincerely,
David Berlin
Executive Director


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Three Punch Combo: What’s in the Cards for Spence, Kell Brook, and Cotto?

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 THREE PUNCH COMBO: Errol Spence Jr. scored an impressive knockout victory against Kell Brook on Saturday to take Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Both fighters now face interesting possibilities as they move forward in their respective careers.

Spence, who entered the fight with a lot of questions, not only showcased his tremendous skills but proved he has a very good chin as well as the willingness to dig deep when needed. He is without a doubt a future superstar in this sport. With momentum strong right now, he would be wise to be as active as possible even if not landing one of the big names his next time out.

I sense that Spence’s advisor, Al Haymon, will in fact get him back in the ring this summer. One name I would speculate as an opponent is Adrian Granados. Coming off a debatable loss to Adrien Broner, Granados has earned another shot at a top fighter. Granados is not a big puncher, but will put forth a good effort. The translation here is that he is someone that can be sold to the public as an opponent for Spence while bigger names are lined up, and also someone against whom Spence can in all likelihood look impressive once again.

After a summer tilt, I would expect to see Spence back in action towards the end of the year in a more substantial fight. Keith Thurman will still be on the mend at this point, recovering from elbow surgery, so that fight is out until next year. But Haymon has plenty of other welterweights and one that I suspect he steers toward Spence will be Lamont Peterson. Peterson is a name and has a belt. He also has a stated desire to want one of the big names next along with the payday that it would command. With Thurman out, this would seem the likely immediate path for Spence as such a fight would draw plenty of attention and be easy to sell.

As for Brook, he is going to need an extensive rest before restarting his career. He suffered a beating as well as an eye injury in September against Gennady Golovkin and then suffered another beating as well as injuring his other eye against Spence. After a rest, expect to see a tune- up bout followed by a massive fight in the UK against Amir Khan. The Khan fight has always been big and one of the reasons it has not been made is that it could frankly be made anytime with it still being a very significant event. Considering where both fighters are presently in their respective careers, the timing seems right for it to happen sooner rather than later. They both get a big payday and the winner gets well positioned for another big payday in what is a loaded territory at welterweight and junior middleweight.

Errol Spence Jr. and Kell Brook gave us a great fight on Saturday. While their career paths will head in different directions, expect to see both involved in big events once again down the road.

 Miguel Cotto’s Future

 Miguel Cotto announced this week that he would be returning to the ring on August 26th to face Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, who split from his promoter Roc Nation last week, will work with Golden Boy Promotions for this fight which will be televised by HBO.

This is an interesting development in the career of Cotto. Reportedly HBO had not been interested in televising the proposed Kamegai fight unless it received assurances from Cotto that it would lead to a bigger fight to be televised by the network. Also, Golden Boy’s involvement in the promotion signals that they could be involved in Cotto’s future. Obviously, this would mean the opponent for a big fight for Cotto would come from under the Golden Boy banner.

The obvious choice for Cotto’s big fight opponent is David Lemieux. Lemieux has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez deciding to go after Gennady Golovkin, Lemieux gets left on the outside looking in. In need of a big fight for Lemieux, Golden Boy saw an opportunity with Cotto having been previously negotiating the Kamegai fight with Roc Nation. A fight between Cotto and Lemieux makes sense for both as Cotto wants a name who isn’t a slick boxer and Lemieux wants a big fight with the payday it commands as well as the opportunity to put a signature win on his resume to bolster his future ambitions.

But I also think Golden Boy has another potential plan for Cotto. Golden Boy’s main cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, is in a high risk, high reward fight with Golovkin in September. There is no rematch clause if Alvarez wins and, of course, a win by Alvarez cements him as a mega star in the sport. He will be eyeing a return in May 2018 during Cinco de Mayo weekend. With momentum behind him, Alvarez would be wise to seek a name opponent to further boost the event. A rematch with Cotto would not only do huge business but keep the momentum going. For Cotto, it would be a chance to avenge the loss from 2015 to Alvarez and give him one massive payday as his career nears a conclusion.

Miguel Cotto is determined to close his career out with something big and it appears likely he will get his wish.

Kudos to Golden Boy

 When Golden Boy announced its new series on ESPN this winter, I was cautiously optimistic in the fights they would produce. I must say that the matchmaking thus far on this series has been superb and is getting even better with some recently announced cards. These are the types of televised shows the sport needs to generate some badly needed positive buzz.

On June 17th, Pablo Cesar Cano takes on Fidel Maldonado in a junior welterweight contest. This fight is not only very evenly matched but can’t be anything except a slugfest given the styles of the two fighters. Cano is a high pressure fighter who is willing to exchange to get his own punches home. Maldonado has the ability to box, but often gets drawn willingly into wars. In 2015, he had a back and forth shootout with Amir Iman in a fight that got some talk in fight of the year chatter. As a matter of fact, round three was probably round of the year that year. Maldonado has a tendency to fire back when he gets hit and with Cano’s style Maldonado is going to get hit a lot. This one is guaranteed action and a perfect fight for television.

About two weeks later, Golden Boy returns with another ESPN card featuring a high stakes junior featherweight contest between Randy Caballero and Oscar Negrete. Caballero is an undefeated former bantamweight belt holder and is a very skilled boxer puncher. Negrete, also undefeated, has shown much improvement inside the ring in his last few contests. The styles of these two should mix well to provide an entertaining fight. It is also evenly matched, and with so much at stake we should see the best of both men inside the ring.

One point I harp on a lot is the importance of good matchmaking, especially in televised fights. Golden Boy is doing an excellent job so far with their new ESPN series providing high quality, well-matched fights. The boxing public is taking notice and Golden Boy deserves much praise in delivering excellent events for the fans.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event

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George Foreman Youth Center

George Foreman Youth Center –  -Starting with the ring of the bell on October 22nd, local area boxers will be fighting for a spot to represent the Gulf Coast Region at the USA Boxing National Championships & in International Travel.

Weight categories will include: Pee Wee 8-9, Bantam 10-11, Intermediate 12-13, Juniors 14-15, Youth 15-16, & Elite 18-40 in both Open and Novice divisions. Winners will represent the Gulf area at the 2016 USA Boxing Elite, Youth and Junior National Championships to be held in Kansas City Missouri December 4-10, 2016. This tournament is a sanctioned event through USA Boxing the National Governing Body of Amateur Boxing and is a feeder to National and Olympic recognition.

The George Foreman Youth and Community Center was founded 32 years ago in 1984 by Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-time heavy weight champion George Foreman. The GFYCC is dedicated to providing a safe and secure location for youth to participate in sports and after school activities.

“This year for the first time in Houston boxing history, we are developing an elite international youth boxing team,” said George Foreman, IV. “The team will be selected for the sole purpose of training and traveling to other countries to gain experience on an international platform and promote cultural diplomacy! Utilizing grant and donor funding this team will be representing the George Foreman Youth and Community Center and will be announced Saturday October 22, at the Gulf Region’s Boxing Championship. The team will be reviewed by my father, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman Sr. The first international trip for this new Houston team is scheduled for Jan. 2017.”

Doors open for the Gulf Gloves Championships on Saturday October 22nd at 11:00 am with announcements and the presentation of the colors by the United States Army Houston Recruiting Command Baytown Beaumont Company at 12:45 pm. The national anthem will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Houston Brass Quintet! Boxing will begin at 1:00 pm. Championship finals will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday October 23rd.

Media open workouts for Houston amateur standout boxers will be held Wednesday October 19th at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center at 2202 Lone Oak Road Houston, Texas 77093 at 4:00 pm.

Confirmed attendees for interviews will be:

George Edward Foreman IV: Son of 2 Time Heavy Weight Champion, President of Foreman Public Relations

Marlen Esparza: 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist, 2014 Amateur World Champion, 2006 & 2016 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, Nine-Time USA Boxing National Champion.

Rocky Juarez: 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, 1999 Amateur World Champion, WBC Silver Featherweight World Champion.

Raul Marquez: 1988 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympic Games Quarter-finalist, IBF Light Middleweight World Champion.

Frank Tate: 1984 Olympic Games Gold Medalist, IBF Middleweight World Champion, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion.

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz: WBA Lightweight World Champion, WBO Lightweight World Champion, WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion, IBF Lightweight World Champion.

“Sweet” Reggie Johnson: WBA Middleweight World Champion, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion.

In addition to many Houston area professional boxers and Gulf Boxing Association alumni. Event is sanctioned by USA Boxing – Gulf LBC: 16-25-14268

George Foreman Youth Center / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis Named New CEO of NV Boxing Hall of Fame

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis

LAS VEGAS, NV (October 5, 2016) – The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President. Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world. The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company. She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year. It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up. His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth. My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”

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