July 24-26, 2017
ABC Minutes Mohegan Sun Casino, Connecticut
29th Annual Association of Boxing Commissions Conference
Day 1 July 24, 2017
Welcome by President Mazzulli
Introduction of Members
President Mike Mazzulli
1st Vice President Brian Dunn
2nd Vice President Vacant
Treasurer Lydia Robertson
Secretary Joe Walsh
Welcome by Mohegan Sun Athletic Commission Director Mike Mazzulli
Introduction by Chief Many Hearts Lynn Malerba; Tom Cantone, Sr. VP at Mohegan
Remarks by Eric Bentley and Evander Holyfield and Steve Farhood
*Evander Holyfield – Mr. Holyfield told the body stories from his childhood and early boxing career which exemplified the importance of strong family relationships and determination.
*Steve Farhood – Perspective of writer and broadcaster. Proposal: Public Explanation of Scores. Mr. Farhood advocated for more transparency and accountability in judging.
President’s Report. President Mazzulli announced his goal is to reunite the ABC. His other goal is to be transparent as well and tell the truth. He recited a number of ABC accomplishments over the past year and then stated, “I’m done talking about the past. We need to move on toward the future.”
Presentation from Andy Foster, CSAC. Kickboxing & New MMA Severity Index: A. Foster, M. Shen Urquidez
Ms. Shen Urquidez described a Foundation started in California to promote safety in combat sports. Kirik Jenness of the MMA databased provided a detailed explanation of algorithm used to create MMA Severity Index. MMASI – tested their numbers anecdotally. Used a statistician to validate numbers. David numbers guy.
Uniform Kickboxing Rules: Tasked on the last day of convention to come up with uniform kickboxing rules. The new uniform kickboxing rules were presented to the body. A discussion was had about the ABC voting on unified kickboxing rules. A few voting members wished to delay any vote. Brian Dunn, NE moved to adopt the rules and it was seconded by Sean Wheelock from KS. The matter was delayed by agreement to make sure that all members have had a full opportunity to review the rules prior to adoption.
Presentation by Mark Ratner and Jeff Novitsky and GC Hunter Campbell.
Mr. Ratner discussed reconciliation and unification of one unified association. He stated it hurts his heart to have another group out there. He stated it is causing real problems to not have truly unified rules.
VP Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitsky. USADA 1366 anti-doping tests. Program is having an effect. Reduced number of positive effects. Deterrent effect. Regarding the detection of THC, he is encouraging commissions to use the standard of 150 ng per ML, which is the appropriate standard used by (WADA).
Motion to allow USADA to provide informational testing results and suspensions to the ABC. Moved by Andy Foster, Frank Gentile second. Deferred to Wednesday.
Presentation by Jay Nady and John McCarthy; on unifying referee standards.
The message is that we need to have consistency of training programs. ABC has recently redone boxing rules and regulations. Need to have truly unified rules and truly unified training. A good discussion was had.
The ABC can help coordinate training efforts for each Commission.
Declaration of Intentions. The following individuals announced their intent to run for ABC positions. It was clarified that there will be nominations.
Mike Mazzulli, Mohegan Sun, 1st VP,
Brian Dunn, 2nd VP,
Frank Gentile, 1st VP
Joe Walsh, Secretary
Lydia Robertson, Treasurer
LUNCH PRESENTATION BY BOXREC, GETTING THE MOST OF BOXREC, presentation on what is new with Boxrec from John and Marina Shepard.
Presentation by Dr. Lovelace
Certified ringside physicians. He provided a condensed presentation that he had made to the ARP, regarding the standards and responsibilities of ringside physicians.
Presentation by Shirley Stunzi, regarding Canadian Commissions on their membership with the ABC. Canadian Commissions met amongst themselves and determined it is unnecessary to become full members of the ABC at this time.
MMA Rules Committee Presentation – Presentation by MMA Rules Committee. Chairman Sean Wheelock and Big John McCarthy. The proposed changes were presented as procedural recommendations. This was merely a presentation with an understanding voting would take place later.
Urine, Stool, and Vomit Rule/Procedure. During fight. Jo Mason recommended to adopt ‘procedure’ in all disciplines.
Incomplete Rounds. Current rules: 2/3 rounds must be completed; 3/5 rounds must be completed. Issue was tabled.
Instant Replay Use in MMA. Instant replay cannot be used until fight has been stopped.
Hand wrap and joint wraps in MMA. No tape and gauze on lower ankles. Neoprene with no Velcro or seams acceptable.
The Brazil Commission announced it is adopting the two rules from last year on downed fighters and heel kicks to kidneys. There is still not 100 percent uniformity and the difficulties with this were discussed.
Boxing Rules Committee Presentation – Presentation by Greg Sirb. There are no changes to the unified rules. He clarified some of the existing unified rules.
Presentation on Expanding Weight Classes – by MMAFA, attorney Macy, Carlos ‘The Jedi’ Newton. Make sport safer by reducing the weight gaps. Described the hardship of cutting weight.
Day 2 July 25, 2017
President Mazzulli opened the day and thanked those who attended the USA Boxing event the night before (July 24, 2017). He also discussed the agenda for the day. It was noted that the ABC Secretary, ‘Cowboy’ Joe Walsh defeated 1st VP, Brian ‘Voodoo’ Dunn in a “boxing match” of sorts during a break in the amateur boxing. While there were some irregularities in the bout, Referee Big John McCarthy declared Walsh the winner. The results were accepted by the Mohegan Department of Athletics and this is clearly the worst loss on Brian Dunn’s distinguished fighting career record. John English sold shirts for the event and raised nearly $300.00
Presentation by Dr. Michael Schwartz. Presentation discussed the dangers of dehydration in combat sports. Dr. Schwartz provided technical medical explanation for the severe dangers of dehydration in combat sports.
Presentation by Greg Sirb about Commissions allowing fighters to fight under suspension. The list of Trisha Blackstock moved to sanction commissions which repeatedly fail to turn in suspensions (after giving the commission an opportunity to correct the problem). The motion was seconded. There was further discussion. President Mazzulli is forming a compliance committee to address the issue of states that continually allow fighters to fight under suspension as well as other noncompliance issues with ABC standards.
Presentation by Mauricio Sulaiman presented on the topic of the role of sanctioning organizations and the interactions between such organizations and athletic commissions.
Finance Committee by Treasurer and Finance Chairman. The Finance Committee: Frank Gentile, Trista Robishon, Greg Sirb, Ernie Gallardo, Lee Pahram, Gary Litchfield, Alan Tanaguchi. Current balance: $133,258.10. Commission balance has gone up. Detailed balance sheet provided as of July 17, 2017. There was a question and answer period.
Minutes from 2016 approved by unanimous consent.
MixedMartialArts.com database Presentation, given by Kirik Jenness. New features of the database were presented and discussed.
Candidates were accepted for the Position:
Mike Mazzulli was nominated for President by Andy Foster, CA, seconded by Kim Sumbler, NY.
Nominations were closed (moved and seconded, Frank Gentile, Sean Wheelock)
Brian Dunn was nominated for 1st VP by Sean Wheelock, KS and Brandon Wilson, ND.
Nominations were closed (moved and seconded, Kim Sumbler, NY, and Chris Guild, ME)
Frank Gentile was nominated for 2nd VP by Brandon Wilson, ND and Mark Langlais, CT
Nominations were closed (moved and seconded by Kim Sumbler, NY and Jody McCormick, AL)
Lydia Robertson was nominated for Treasurer by Mike Mazzulli, Mohegan Sun, and Andy Foster, CA, as well as Gentile, FL.
Nominations were closed (moved and seconded by Jody McCormick, AL and Mark Langlais, CT)
Joe Walsh, IA, was nominated for Secretary by Skip Brown, DC and John English, NH.
Nominations were closed (moved and seconded by Chris Guild, ME and Terrance Merriweather, NC)
After all positions were closed, there was only one candidate for each position. The body unanimously approved on a voice vote, the entire slate of candidates
Presentation by Adam Buckhalter including motion to recognize St. Croix Chippewa Tribe as a full member of the ABC. Adam has worked closely in the development of this AC. He described his process in working with the tribe. Adam moved to accept the tribe as a full member of the ABC. The motion was seconded by Brian Dunn, NE. Frank Gentile, FL, spoke in favor of the motion. The vote was approved unanimously.
ABC Medical Committee Presentation by Andy Foster. Showed two videos. The committee developed a 10 point plan, summarized as follows.
License by Weight Class (10 percent)
Additional Weight Classes, 165, 175, 195, 225.
Approval of Weight Class on Database.
Weight Class Restrictions on fighters who miss weight more than once.
Earlier Weigh Ins.
Day of Event Weight Checks.
Weight Checks – Prefight weight checks 30 or 10 days
Education. Attack the culture of weight cutting. Extreme severe weight cutting.
Presentation by Haskell Alexander, Tribal Overview and plans. Recommends a midyear meeting.
Discussion led by Joe Walsh and Lydia Robertson. How do we handle members who have not paid their dues? There are two separate problems. The first is that we have a number of commissions we cannot reach at all and appear to be inactive or possibly dropping out of the ABC. The second problem is there are some commissions which have been active which have not paid dues and appear to be intentionally removing themselves from the ABC. The ABC Constitution requires members to be in good standing in order to participate.
The matter was opened up to the membership and an excellent discussion was had about how to handle members not in good standing. A motion was entertained by Kim Sumbler, NY, seconded by Jody McCormick, AL. Moved: A commission who has not paid its dues for six months after having been sent an invoice is not a member in good standing and the same shall be noted on all appropriate forums. Commissions who remain unpaid may be referred to the compliance committee.
PASSED UNANIMOUSLY BY A VOICE VOTE.
Video highlights and play by play of the 2002 Ward-Gatti fight by “Irish” Mickey Ward and two of the judges (Steve Weisfeld & Dick Falherty) who scored the original fight. Mickey Ward spoke openly about injuries sustained during his career.
Meeting adjourned in time for the Lobster Boil.
Day 3 July 26, 2017
Presentation by Ani Miramontes, official record keeper updates. Miramontes presented the new web site which is available.
Presentation by Boxrec, Marina Sheppard, presented a year-end report and new features on ABC.boxrec.com.
Discussion about marijuana usage in combative sports. Several commissions and individuals spoke up regarding how they handle such matters. While there was no consensus amongst the group it was acknowledged that the issue has become more complicated with the number of states legalizing either medical or recreational use of marijuana.
Introduction of Gary Big Daddy Goodridge and interview with BJM, 1996-2010 (kickboxing and MMA). Mr. Goodridge gave an excellent presentation on his career and life.
Several issues were brought to a vote. These issues had been discussed and presented at length during the conference leading up to this vote.
Substantive Policy and Procedure changes. Motion to adopt the following changes:
Loss of Bodily Function
Instant Replay in MMA
[Proposals attached to minutes] These policy changes were moved and seconded.
Passed on a voice vote.
New Weight Classes. Motion to adopt the additional weight classes: 165, 175, 195, 225
Moved by Frank Gentile, FL, seconded by Sean Wheelock, KS.
Spirited discussion was held including a failed attempt to amend the motion. There were clarifications and explanations provided by members of the Committee.
Request was made for paper ballot. Following the clarifications and discussion, the matter passed unanimously with a full quorum of voters. It was clarified that this proposal merely added the recognized weight classes. It did not address the issue of appropriate weight spreads. There was a request from the body for the Committee to address the issue of safe weight spreads.
Proposal to Allow USADA to Present Informational Suspensions to the ABC to be posted on our databases.
Moved by Pres. Mazzulli, Seconded by Skip Brown, DC
Presentation by Brazilian Commission about the pitfalls.
A discussion was had and clarifications of exactly how this will work.
Passed by UNANIMOUS VOICE VOTE.
Unified Rules for Kickboxing. Motion to adopt the unified rules for kickboxing as presented.
Moved by Jody McCormick, AL, seconded by Brandon Wilson, ND.
An amendment was presented by Danny Dring, AR, to clarify the difference between a clinch and holding and the use of knees. This was seconded by John English, NH. The amendment carried on a voice vote.
The proposal PASSED UNANIMOUSLY on a voice vote.
Presentation by USA Boxing, Mike McAtee. He presented updates on USA Boxing.
Introduction of vendors. These vendors have been an integral part of this convention.
Presentation by Pat English on potential lawsuits and the tragedy in New York. Mr. English’s presentation was excellent, how to avoid ending up in the liability position the State of New York is in.
Presentation by Matt Showalter and X. Kiser, How Athletic Commissions can make a difference. An excellent presentation on a Commission success story with testimony by Dan Kiser.
Next Year ABC Convention: Lydia Robertson and Trisha Blackstock. Orlando, Florida
Motion to adjourn. Skip, DC and Seconded by NC.
At the 2017 ABC Conference, there were 132 attendees, representing 49 Commissions, with 16 various industry groups represented. Some Commissions sent as many as four members:
Comanche Nation Comm
District of Columbia
Oneida Indian Nation
Pawnee Sports Comm.
Pascua Yaqui AC
Pete Suazo Utah AC
Siletz Tribal AC
St. Croix Chippewa
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Turtle Mountain AC