MONDAY, June 30th, 2003, AT 9:00 PM, PT
How Does An Event Police
Beware MMA (And Kickboxers Too) People...
Look Who Is Trying To Walk In Your DORE!
There is a very hot topic running around the last few weeks and it's called SAFETY! The topic has come up from the most recent deaths in Toughman competition. A total of 14 now. One of the most recent deaths was a 30-year-old mother of two, Stacy Young of Florida. Young had no fight training but was encouraged on the day of the event to step into the ring to fight a younger (20) better conditioned and TRAINED competitor, Sarah Kobie. However, no one can blame Kobie for her death. Kobie was there to WIN, but the referee was there to "WATCH", and he wasn't watching out for the fighters safety. He was watching out for the promoter Art Dore to assure he would have a "3 Round Cat Fight" for the crowd to see.
Even when Young dropped her gloves and stumbled to her corner while members of the audience called for the bout's end, the referee never even stepped in to break the two to separate. He just stood by and watched Kobie PUMMEL Young! Kobie landed punch after punch on Young who was visibly out of shape (At 240 lbs) and spent much of the fight backed into a corner trying to defend herself as best she could. At one point, the two fighters fell to the canvas and Promoter Art Dore yelled over the PA System, "A real cat fight!"
Even though spectators yelled frantically at the ridiculous referee Dore had placed as the bout referee, he just stood there and watched it all without a care for fighter safety in mind. Again, he was making sure the audience saw a beating! And they did. By round 3, Young couldn't even hold her gloves up to protect herself. As she walked toward her corner before the match was over, Kobie punched her three times on the side of the head. The referee still didn't step in as Young went down on the third punch. Young absorbed 14 unanswered punches to her head. Twice, Kobie went after Young when Young's back was turned to her, and neither time did the referee intervene.
Nobody knows which punch rendered Young brain dead but the last time she turned her back to Kobie, Kobie jabbed the back of her head with a left and then cocked her right fist and delivered a blow squarely on Young's brain stem, snapping Young's head from side to side. From the final blow, Young collapsed, and never got up. While Young was being fatally pummeled the ringside doctor (Hired by Dore) doctor was busy taking pictures as the event's official photographer. Young collapsed in the ring and suffered a seizure. Paramedics were on hand to treat her, but the fight doctor who was suppose to be there to protect fighters never tried to stop the match even though it was clear Young was being overwhelmed with punches and couldn't defend herself. As Kobie was punishing Young with blows, Dore is heard bellowing through the P.A. system, "C'mon ladies! Punch! Punch! Punch! Punch! Punch!" So Sarah Kobie continued to punch, even after Stacy Young turned her back and the referee gave no warning let alone put a stop to it.
Toughman competitions have made Dore (Right) a millionaire while leaving some participants disfigured, brain damaged or dead. Fourteen fighters (13 men, 1 woman) have died in Toughman-style amateur fighting since the sport's inception in 1979 and at least five more have suffered brain damage. The fatality rate is more than quadruple that of organized amateur boxing and the sport's deadliness is directly linked to its loose rules and lack of regulation.
"There's no regulation, no strong system to see if these people are physically capable of getting in and performing in such a rough, tough, combative physical sport," said boxing trainer Emanuel Steward, whose Kronk Gym in Detroit has more boxing champs than any club in history.
So who was there to discipline the referee in Young's bout for such a TERRIBLE job? Art Dore of course. And who was there to oversee Dore? Art Dore of course. Wait a minute, "Art Dore?" How can he oversee his own events? Toughman competitor Scott Wood's was killed in January when the referee wouldn't allow him to give up. Jason Pyles of Michigan was Wood's opponent. He said Wood, who died of blunt force head trauma, indicated to the referee that he wanted to give up, but wasn't allowed to, which the referee denies. In some cases, referees are allowed to work bouts even when they don't meet the sport's minimal requirements -- described Dore only as, they have to have been "involved in so many fights in the past." In one fatal bout, the referee had worked only five fights. He has no system for hiring doctors other than recommendations from friends. In states where Toughman is not regulated, Dore appoints all ring doctors, refs, judges and cornermen. Its prefight exam tests only for blood pressure and alcohol; only those over the age of 35 need a doctor's permission to compete; fighters are responsible for their own medical expenses and must sign a waiver that frees Toughman from any liability; and there are no minimum requirements for referees or medical personnel.
"We have some major concerns" about Toughman, said Marc Ratner, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "Those concerns would have surfaced had Dore followed through and applied for a license renewal in Nevada, which he was going to do this past January. But when he got wind of Nevada's opposition, Dore pulled his request and hasn't surfaced here since."
Welcome to the non sanctioned world of Art Dore, and sadly as well, 99% of all MMA events and a good majority of kickboxing events. In MMA, everyone seems to have their own sanctioning body, but they are also their own promotional company. Just like Art Dore.
Art Dore, the founder of Toughman has policed his own events for years by his own sanctioning body. His association takes in more than the IKF and ISCF combined. Dore's non-profit "American Boxing & Athletic Association" took in nearly a million dollars over the last 2 years. (That was on paper, not cash intake from merchandise, ticket sales or any other cash sales.) According to tax records, Dore's nonprofit foundation, originally named the Art Dore Boxing and Athletic Association made just less than $1 million over the past two years. The foundation incurred expenses of more than $820,000, most of it in payments to Adoreable Promotions Inc., the company Dore founded and is now in the name of his daughter, Wendy Dore.
Toughman has had a reported 14 deaths now in its organization. Dore has fighters sign a waiver beforehand. He also has them fill out an entry form that includes these words: "Wimps need not apply." He also promises that a doctor will be on hand. Some of these events have no doctor at ringside and some others have had a Chiropractor as the ringside doctor. In two of the Toughman deaths, the doctors Dore hired to monitor the fights were chiropractors. Some of the weight spreads are as much as 30 to 50 lbs.
Toughman competitions have been banned in five states. Florida also intended to ban the events in the early 1990s, but Dore has been able to continue staging Toughman competitions because of a loophole in the state law. Because Dore does not offer more than $50 in prize money in Florida, the Toughman bouts aren't considered professional boxing and aren't regulated by the state. Boxers in professional fights are required to undergo strict medical evaluations and referees undergo rigorous training before they can judge a fight.
So why this article now?
Well, over the last week we have received a few phone calls from the likes of some people with PPV and other TV sources and some news reporters all asking about what a sanctioning body is for and our stance on Art Dore wanting to now do his own MMA events (Calling it something like Frontier Fighting.). Yes... Art Dore nopw wants to be an MMA Promoter!
Although their questions and comments were mainly in regards to Dore's MMA Promotion desires, these individuals informed us that they will be crackin down on ANY and ALL events they will show on TV and support in their press from now on. They asked tons of questions and wanted to know where we stood on them. Questions such as our (IKF & ISCF) safety record (which is 100% clean) and where we sanction events. What MMA promoters we have worked with in the past and who we are working with now, and of course, how we felt about Art Dore wanting to promote MMA now and worse yet, his desire to do so in the state of Georgia.
They wanted to know why not every MMA Promoter sanctions with the ISCF? The "ONLY" MMA Sanctioning body that does not promote their own events. Why so many MMA Promoters sanction their own events, etc. etc. Their main concern was about Art Dore though and his desires to do his new MMA Events in every state he could.
We informed them that MMA in general, despite promoters sanctioning their own events, has a far better safety record than Toughman. However if anyone in MMA allows Art Dore to get involved in our sport, that safety record will get washed down the drain. It's not enough to sanction one of Dore's events. Fighters need TRAINING! Which is something Dore will never require. No matter what safety rules are applied or enforced, if an untrained fighter goes into ANY ring (Like Young did) they take the chance of serious injury or as in Young's case, DEATH!
Those in the media and TV were clear about needing events sanctioned by a sanctioning body that was not promoting the event. But in defense of the groups that sanction their own events (UFC, King of the Cage etc.) they admitted they never thought of the issue we brought up, that sanctioning alone will not save every fighter. Training experience IS MANDATORY and cannot be bought for a $50 enrollment fee! It changed their thinking of the whole Dore issue altogether. Once thinking his events might be safe with sanctioning, we made them realize that sanctioning alone would not save unexperienced fighters who don't know how to protect themselves and fight back. However, a Qualified referee would have saved Young, or at least gave her a much better chance of survival.
The issue of Liability has come up with them and they said they do not want to be a part of an unsanctioned event that has a major injury or worse yet, a death, with no sanctioning body to stand by them to assure that all safety measures were taken. Be aware MMA Fans, Dore is now trying to not just knock, but walk in your door, to your living room and on your TV, no matter what the costs of others like Stacy Young.
For some interesting reading, CLICK HERE!
STILL NOT CONVINCED?
Operation Clean Up: Congressman Plays
Written By: Boxing Insider - 04.16.2003 03:12 AM, By Charles Jay Editor/Publisher TotalAction.com at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a FREE Chapter from Charles Jay's award winning series Operation Clean Up.
55th Round CONGRESSMAN PLAYS A DANGEROUS GAME OF MONOPOLY
A bill introduced in Congress last year illustrates how truly gullible public officials can be. Or how treacherous. Especially with a promoter pulling the strings.
Posted April 15, 2003
Years ago, when I was doing a little matchmaking, both on the pro and amateur level, in the Tampa Bay area, I was trying to put a certain aspiring heavyweight on one of my Friday night amateur cards, but was rebuffed by some officials of the ABF (now known as USA Boxing), who told me he was ineligible, because not only had he competed in a "Badman" contest (a knock-off of Toughman) a couple of weeks before that, but he had actually won the first prize - a check in the amount of $1000.
According to those officials, by just competing in that event, he forfeited his amateur status. I was at the "Badman" show, so I saw the guy fight. But I really didn't know about the rule, since the competition was billed as something that was essentially "amateur" in nature. So I put the kid into a pro show the next week. He wanted to be a fighter, so if he wanted to do so he had no real choice. He got knocked out, and that was basically the end of his career.
The point is, these "toughman" contests - or any variation thereof - exist in this nether land between professional and amateur boxing. As far as some commissions are concerned, they are not professional contests and therefore don't fall under the same laws and/or regulations as professional fights would, and the bouts obviously don't go on anyone's professional record. For anyone but the winner of most of these events, there is no financial reward. But the amateur governing body - USA Boxing - doesn't want to come anywhere near it, beyond the extent to which it bans Toughman competitors from ever competing in amateur boxing - that is, if they find out about it.
On June 13, 2002, a Michigan congressman proposed something he promoted as a solution to this dilemma. Rep. James Barcia, a Democrat, introduced H.R. 4929, which would "recognize the American Boxing and Athletic Commission as the official sanctioning body for amateur elimination boxing contests." This would have established the ABAA as the entity setting and enforcing standards for these types of events across the country. And I would assume that no one would be permitted to go forward with an "amateur elimination contest" without ABAA sanction and approval.
For now, let's get away from semantics. Let's forget about the proposition that someone from this ABAA might walk into a courtroom, maybe even in the state of Michigan, and try to enjoin an event like the National Golden Gloves or the Olympic Trials because it could be argued that these too could be considered to be "amateur elimination boxing contests." For now, I'd rather focus on just exactly what the "American Boxing and Athletic Association" really is. In a letter sent to Barcia on October 16, 2002, Tim Lueckenhoff, president of the Association of Boxing Commissions, wrote, "As they are private entities, there may be more than one legitimate sanctioning body for such sports. To bless one with the designation of 'official' will unfairly give preferential treatment to a non-governmental organization over others in the marketplace, regardless of their proficiency or standards."
It's actually much worse than that. In fact, it's worse than any sanctioning body one can imagine, because it's clearly set up as a promotional tool, designed to support one organization and one organization only - The Original Toughman Contest - to the exclusion of all others. There's a good explanation for that. You see, the "ABAA" is Art Dore. And Art Dore IS the "ABAA".
The Amateur Boxing and Athletic Association is 501-C(3) non-profit corporation that is on file in the state of Michigan. The registered agent for the company is Arthur P. Dore. Dore, and Murray Sutherland, the former super middleweight champion who is one of his employees, are listed as officers on the Form 990 of this corporation, which was previously known as the "Art Dore Boxing and Athletic Association". The address is a post office box in Bay City, Michigan. James Barcia, the representative who introduced this bill, is from Bay City as well. And in case you're a little slow, what this means is that - unbelievable as it may seem - an elected public official actually engaged in a pro-active attempt to create a legal monopoly for one of his constituents - no doubt a constituent who arranged some "campaign financing" somewhere along the way. If this bill had gotten through the House Science and Commerce Committee and eventually passed, Dore could have effectively knocked out all opposition - not to mention all of his competition - in what would have been one of the all-time great end runs around any form of independent boxing regulation.
Thank God it never got that far. Mercifully, for the sport of boxing, Congressman Barcia became a victim of redistricting and re-apportionment. The 2000 U.S. Census eliminated one of Michigan's seats in the House of Representatives for 2002, and Barcia was the casualty. So instead of working for the benefit of Art Dore in Washington, he now must do so from the Michigan State Senate, which he was elected to last year. But this should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who contends that the solution to ANY of boxing's ills is to get a bunch of Washington politicians involved, because we have before us a textbook example of the potential disaster that can result. Barcia's office won't clarify it, but what we're presented with is one of two possible scenarios - either it was a case of a politician who was completely clueless as to the ramifications of legislation he was actually introducing, or a politician who was perfectly aware of the potential effects, and consciously proposed that kind of bill anyway, in the name of the public interest, with hidden motives we can only speculate on. Either way, it sucks.
Likewise, either way, because this was his "brainchild", there's very little doubt as to where Art Dore's head is at, in terms of his long-term objectives. And that's a very dangerous place, even by the standards of professional OR amateur boxing.
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