NYSAC Insurance Regulation STILL An Issue



NYSAC Insurance Regulation STILL An Issue

Writer Thomas Hauser on the RING website put together an exhaustive update on the issue which has bedeviled pro boxing in NY since Sept 1, when the NY legislature enacted a regulation which has been a death sentence on small boxing shows in the Empire State.

The pols this summer put together regulations so that mixed martial arts could be once again legal with state lines.

One of those resolutions is the demand that each fighter taking part in a pro combat sports promotion be insured up to one million dollars against catastrophic injury. Sounds fine, progressive even, on surface. But the pols hadn’t checked around, and truly pondered the nuts and bolts and ramifications of that policy parameter.

On Dec. 13, it was announced that the NYSAC has gotten word that the NY Dept of Financial Services “has approved a policy that the United States Fire Insurance Co. is getting set to make available to promoters. It is expected to be in place in time for the first card on the commission's schedule to take place,” according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.

Indeed, there is boxing on the calendar, a Jan. 14 show at Barclays, with Floyd Mayweather co-promoting with Lou DiBella. The promoters, it is believed,  will use a BYOI method, and bring their own policy from out of state. The state wouldn’t be allowed to put the kibosh on that, as long as it satisfies their standards of such a policy. But in this atsmosphere, with no boxing having taken place since August, one might wonder if they’d be inclined to block it if they could. It feels like we, the boxing peeps, are getting the shortest end of the stick, while MMA has been flourishing with three pro cards slated to unfold within a three month span. It would be understandable if boxers who have not been able to fight on local club shows as they build their record and skills, guys like Shawn Cameron…

….and ladies like Heather Hardy, felt like they were being kept from making a living, in the name of attending to their “health” and “safety.”

This portion of the Hauser piece caught my eye:

New York State Assembly Leader Joseph Morelle, who co-sponsored the bill to legalize professional MMA in New York, told Amy Dash of that he would face an uphill battle in the state legislature if he tried to lower the insurance requirement. Instead, he pointed to a provision in the law that provides, “The commission may from time to time, promulgate regulations to adjust the amount of such minimum [insurance] limits.”

In Morelle’s words, “The state athletic commission could now say, ‘Well, this is not affordable for small promoters, and so we are going to make an adjustment to the coverage.’ That is allowed in the law, and hopefully they will begin to have that conversation.”

But Jim Leary, counsel for the NYSAC, points to the last section of the law, which states, “Within 12 months of the effective date of this section, the state athletic commission shall make any recommendations to the governor, temporary president of the senate, and speaker of the assembly regarding legislative changes which may be necessary to effectuate the purpose and intent of this chapter, including, but not limited to, appropriate adjustments to the insurance requirements contained therein.”

I don’t get it. Why would the passage Leary cited take precedence over the one Morelle mentioned? Help me out, lawyer friends, will you?

Here’s hoping this all gets ironed out, right quick. Yeah, having the big shows at Barclay and MSG and the soon to re-open Nassau Coliseum will be awesome.

But the message that spurning the lower profile events and players, that’s not one that I’d think all of these politicians would want to purvey.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.