The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act is a federal law enacted in the United States that provides for vn offered to boxers from the various sanctioning bodies (e.g., the WBO, WBC, IBF, and othersthe act restricts the types of contract that a boxer may be required to sign in order to box at an event. The boxer cannot, for example, be required to give away future promotional rights as a requirement of competing in a fight that is a mandatory bout under the rules of a sanctioning organization. The act also requires sanctioning bodies to reveal to state commissions various information about matches that are held, fees charged to boxers for the sanctioning body to sanction a match, as well as any payment or compensation received from the body for affiliating itself with the promoter. It also requires promoters to disclose a large amount of the financial information about bouts to the state commissions, as well as to the boxers they promote.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) took the first step to start this reform. His reasons for attempting to organize the sport of boxing McCain stated, "In baseball, football and basketball, there is a commissioner, there are established rules and there are agents and managers and unions to look out for athletes. There are none of the abuses that have marked boxing over the years."[1] According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Senator Richard Bryan of Nevada also took partnership and joined McCain in support to have this proposed bill passed. Later, President Bill Clinton would have this bill passed. This bill is the extension reform to the previous one, The 1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act. The Act of 1996 regulates boxing inside the ring. The Ali Act was to designed fix and cover the issues that had not been addressed in the first and regulate boxing outside the ring. January 2, 2000 marked the date that this bill was enacted by The Senate House of Representatives of the United States of America. Article text.[1]

Legendary Professional Boxer Muhammad Ali was present at Capital Hill before the Senate Commerce Committee and a crowd of supporters that Thursday. Ali was unable to speak due to suffering from Parkinson's disease. He testified in attendance, showed his support and allowed the reform to be put in his name. He supports the efforts placed to clean up the sport of boxing. Robert Bingham, Ali's longtime friend and photographer spoke on his behalf. Robert explained Ali's outraged in the direction boxing is headed and devastation of the quality of the sport that he once dedicated his life to participating in. Ali believes the sport of professional boxing has reached rock bottom. The event that angered him so much was the fight which took place between heavyweight fighters Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in March. This is the infamous fight where Tyson bit the ear of Holyfield. Later, this shocking fight was followed by another incident between fighter Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in the same month, where Lewis was the clearly marked as the winner of the fight but Holyfield was awarded a draw. The scoring was obviously unjust, denying Lewis with the victory he deserved. This boxing event prompted immediate investigation by the New York Athletic Commission and the Manhattan District Attorney. This investigation lead to Sen. John McCain becoming apart of cause to amend boxing legislation. Those in favor of the bill wanted Ali in attendance because they believed he would be the help needed to get the bill in motion to be passed. This was not the first boxing reform McCain has been supported before. There needed to be regulations that protected the boxers from the physical brutality they inflict amongst each other during competition in the ring. Two years prior, Senator Richard Bryan of Nevada and McCain who acted as a co-sponsor of the reform called the Boxing Safety Act which set safety standards for the physical punishments that the boxers receive during fighting in the ring. This ensured the health of fighters allowing a certain amount of rest time between scheduling fights.

Congress noted through research that there were a number of problems with the sport of boxing which needed to be changed to ensure the safety and protection of professional boxers. Listed are a number of discoveries made by Congress:

  1. Professional boxing is not governed by any league, association, or any form of an established organization like majority of other professional sports.
  2. The state officials are not ensuring the protection of the boxers and are not aware or informed of contracts boxers have agreed to.
  3. Promoters are taking advantage of the sport by conducting dishonest business affairs. Promoters are not being punished due to some states being less strict about the legal terms that are stated in contracts.
  4. There is no rating system provided to rank professional boxers thus ratings are subjected to manipulation by those in charge.
  5. There has been a major interference in the sport by because of open competition by restrictive and anticompetitive bodies.
  6. There are no restrictions placed on contracts that boxers agree to with promoters and managers.It is necessary to enforce a national contract reform which will guarantee the safety of professional boxers and the public from unlawful contracts and to enhance the integrity of the sport.[2]

Congress wanted the Ali Act to make the following possible: 1) Ensure the safety and promote the welfare of professional boxers by eliminating dishonest transactions. 2) To provide help to State Boxing Commissions in regulating boxing events and boxing ratings. 3) To promote the sport of boxing honestly and mandate organization and business of the sport. Article text.[3]

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