THURSDAY, March 13th, 2003, AT 1:40 PM, PST
Attorney Bo Hunter
Profile Of An Avid Supporter
IKF And ISCF Counsel In Georgia, USA, Provides Insights On Sanctioning, Politics Andthe Martial Sports
Editor's Note: Robert W. "Bo" Hunter, III, Esquire, is a respected member of the bar of the state of Georgia. Having served as the elected Solicitor General (Chief State Court Prosecutor) for his native Richmond County (Augusta) for eight years, Mr. Hunter maintains a general practice in the civil, criminal and domestic relations courts. Possessed of keen insights into the political process, this experienced and influential attorney currently serves as IKF And ISCF's legal counsel in Georgia. We recently caught up with Bo, and were able to get his perspective on a variety of issues.
Bo, how did you first become interested in martial sports events?
Mr.Hunter: I had met Mike Carlson when he was first out of law school and in private practice. We kept in touch. Later, when martial arts contests started being promoted in Augusta, I discovered that Mike was involved and so was my longtime friend Paul Pearman. I thoroughly enjoy attending our local events here, and have supported them in many ways.
You have been announced as the counsel for IKF
in Georgia, what does this mean?
Mr. Hunter: I have been advising IKF and ISCF and its associates for some time on various matters, so nothing has really changed from my end. In terms of sanctioning matters, I know that IKF and ISCF World President, Steve Fossum, has asked that I review sanctioning applications for the state, particularly with regard to new promoters. So, I will be getting a copy of those. If something gets red flagged, or follow-up exploration is needed, I am available to handle that. In any event, I will be providing the advice and counsel that I believe will best serve IKF, ISCF and its associates, as I have in the past.
Does this mean that you will have authority to determine who will put on IKF and/or ISCF events in Georgia, or when or where they
Mr. Hunter: Not at all. Those decisions are and have always been strictly, solely and ultimately Mr. Fossum's as they are for all IKF and ISCF events worldwide. All sanctioning fees have historically and consistently gone to him as well. I am here, as others are, to provide advice and counsel.
What is Matthew Waller'srole?
Mr. Hunter: My understanding is that Matthew will be doing what he can to coordinate Georgia promoters as much as possible, in order to make sure that dates do not conflict and folks will be able to support each other as much as possible.
What do you see as the greatest challenge to IKF
Mr. Hunter: Continuing to grow, but to do so in the right direction.
What do you mean by that?
Mr. Hunter: For whatever reason, kickboxing and mixed martial arts have been the subject of tremendous controversy. Anyone doubting that they are targets of attention can look at the legislative history in Georgia. In a four-year period both were the subjects of major statutory changes in terms of their legal status.
How does this effect the advice that you provide to IKF
Mr. Hunter: First and foremost, they need to be careful about what sorts of associations are made. I have steadily given the advice that ties with anyone who has been involved in any serious criminal activity, for example, should be severed.
Why is that?
Mr. Hunter: There are a variety of reasons, and I will only go into a few. First of all, the martial arts appeal to kids and families. They should set a good example as role models. As a political matter, it is always much easier to explain why you ceased dealing with someone like that than attempting to justify why you did. Remember that there are forces out there that would like to see kickboxing and mixed martial arts outlawed or regulated out of practical existence. I see no reason to give them ammunition.
What are some other reasons?
Mr. Hunter: Good people have supported IKF and ISCF in our General Assembly here. If an opponent discovered that an organization that they had backed was involved with the criminal element, it could get used against them. That would wind up stripping the martial sports of continued support where it is needed most.
Is that a realistic scenario?
Mr. Hunter: Well, I have spoken to friends in the General Assembly on both sides of the aisle who are very much in favor of the advice I have given.
Are the politicians in Georgia unique here?
Mr. Hunter: Not with regard to the martial sports or with regard to this state. Convicted felons cannot vote, possess firearms or serve as ticket brokers here, for example. In Florida, the law provides for the state to suspend or revoke licenses and permits to participate in martial sports activities for anyone who had plead guilty or nolo contendere to a crime of moral turpitude within ten years. Those are generally defined as all felonies and even some misdemeanors. I see no reason why IKF and ISCF should set the bar lower than the state of Florida does.
IKF /ISCF: Florida requires a minimum fee of $5,000.00 for anyone to put on a mixed martial arts fight, correct?
Mr. Hunter: That is true and it is where IKF and ISCF deserve a lot of credit. They have never
taken advantage of the situation here in Georgia and price gouged. The
sanctioning fees have remained the same, state by state.
IKF /ISCF: Can others contact you with regard to personal legal matters?
Mr. Hunter: Of course. Someone can always call with general questions. If more is needed from there, arrangements can be made.
Mr. Hunter's office is located at 266 Greene Street, Augusta, Georgia, 30901-2492. His telephone number is 706/724-3156.