(a) OBJECTIVE CRITERIA- Within 2 years after the date of the enactment of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, the Association of Boxing Commissions shall develop and shall approve by a vote of no less than a majority of its member State boxing commissioners, guidelines for objective and consistent written criteria for the ratings of professional boxers. It is the sense of the Congress that sanctioning bodies and State boxing commissions should follow these ABC guidelines. 


As prescribed by 15 USC Sec.6307c.(a), the Association of Boxing Commissions is empowered to develop guidelines for objective and consistent written criteria for the ratings of professional boxers. Although the ABC realizes that any ratings structure can be subjective in nature, there is a definite need for all organizations to create a ratings structure that is more objective, more precise and more consistent: based less on subjectivity and more on competition between active boxers; so that when a world title bout is advertised, the general public is assured that it is, indeed, between two deserving boxers. 

The basic theory is to have the boxers themselves prove they are worthy of a top rating. Movement of these top boxers should be based, upon wins and losses and not on subjective criteria which currently differs greatly among the sanctioning organizations. For boxers to maintain their top rating, they should be, at the very least, active and competing against other ranked opponents. This type of rating system will increase activity among the top boxers of the world. A sanctioning organization may decide how many boxers to rate in a Division. 

As such, the following ratings criteria were adopted by the ABC in 2000 and further amended in 2002: 

1) Ratings must be based solely on win/loss records, level of competition and activity. The record of any top-rated boxer shall be verified by the ABC’s official boxing registry. 

2) No boxer can be rated in more than one division. 

3) For a boxer to receive a top rating, the boxer shall have competed in at least (2) bouts scheduled for ten rounds or (4) bouts scheduled for eight rounds. 

4) In order to maintain a top rating, the boxer: 

a) shall compete at least once during each 12-month period from the time the boxer gets rated; and 

b) shall have competed against another top-rated boxer within each 18-month period from the time the boxer gets rated. 

A boxer who does not meet this level of competition shall not retain the boxer’s rating. Exceptions can be made only for injuries, verified in writing by a licensed physician (M.D. or D.O.). 

5) If a top-rated boxer loses to an un-rated boxer: 

a) the top-rated boxer shall be lowered at least one position in the ratings; and 

b) the un-rated boxer shall be considered for a rating somewhere in the top rating. 

6) If two boxers are rated and compete against each other, and the lower rated boxer wins: 

a) The lower rated boxer shall be elevated in the ratings and; 

b) The higher rated boxer shall be lowered in the ratings. 

The ABC also adopts the following criteria: 

A. Sanctioning organizations shall consider all active boxers in regard to a rating in a particular division (even if the boxer is rated by another sanctioning organization). This need not effect mandatory positions or which boxers are available for elimination bouts. 

B. The rating of a boxer shall not be premised, directly or indirectly, upon a consideration of: 

1. The identity of the boxer’s promoter, manager or any other person with whom the boxer is affiliated (hereinafter, “affiliates”); or 

2. The attendance of the boxer or the boxer’s affiliates at a convention, conference, or other function sponsored by the sanctioning organization. 

C. All sanctioning organizations shall eliminate from their ratings criteria any wording suggesting that its rating criteria are conditional or subject to exception; for example, “all rating criteria are subject to exception by the ratings committee.” 

Sanctioning organizations may adopt rating criteria which are more stringent than the criteria set forth herein. 

Monitoring by the Association of Boxing Commissions 

As prescribed by Federal law, each sanctioning organization is required to submit to the Federal Trade Commission, or, in the alternative, publish on its Internet website, and to submit to the 

Association of Boxing Commissions: 

a) a complete description of the sanctioning organization’s ratings criteria, policies and general sanctioning fees; 

b) the bylaws of the sanctioning organization; 

c) the appeals procedures of the sanctioning organization for a boxer’s rating; and 

d) a list and business address of the organization’s officials who vote on the ratings of boxers. 

Also required is that each sanctioning organization is to: 

a) post on its Internet website or home page a change in the rating of a boxer previously rated by the sanctioning organization in the top ratings, including an explanation of such change, within seven days of such change; and 

b) provide a copy of a ratings change and the explanation for the rating change to the Association of Boxing Commissions, within seven days of such change

In furtherance of these legislative measures: 

sanctioning organization shall develop its web site in a clear and concise manner, so that: 

all interested parties, especially boxers, can easily find information and ratings criteria; and the ratings of the sanctioning organization for the preceding six months are included. 

A sanctioning organization shall establish, and consistently apply, procedures for an appeal of a ratings change which are: objective; cost efficient; and, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, completed within 30 days of the appeal. 

Following an appeal as provided in § (2) of this section, or in the absence of a sanctioning organization providing for such appeal procedures, the ABC, upon the receipt of a written complaint from the boxer or the boxer’s designated representative, shall: 

provide to the sanctioning organization: a copy of the complaint; and an opportunity to submit a response to the ABC within 10 days of the sanctioning organization’s receipt of the complaint which shall include all relevant information 

attendant to the ratings change; review all information relevant to the complaint; and issue an opinion setting forth the ABC’s findings and conclusions. 

Association of Boxing Commissions Certification of Adherence and Compliance 

The Association of Boxing Commissions shall, on an annual basis, determine if a sanctioning organization has adhered to, and complied with, the “Association of Boxing Commissions Guidelines for Objective and Consistent Criteria for the Ratings of Professional Boxers,” as well as the dictates of the above-referenced statutory provisions. 

In the event the Association of Boxing Commissions determines that there has been such adherence and compliance, the Association of Boxing Commissions shall issue a “Certification of Adherence and Compliance” stating that, for the designated period, the sanctioning organization has adhered to, and complied with, the said rating criteria and the dictates of the said statutory provisions. 


1. Except as provided below, a boxer should be designated as a “mandatory” challenger only after the boxer has participated in a sanctioning organization’s elimination bout in which the two highest-rated, available boxers participated. 

2. There should be no “interim” champions. If a champion is injured and thus cannot meet the boxer’s obligation (giving a 60-day grace period past the deadline) to defend, the next two highest rated boxers shall compete for the title. Once the injured champion is ready, that boxer shall be the mandatory challenger for the new champion. 

3. There should be no “Super Champion”. An organization cannot have two champions in one division. 

“Top rating” means a rating that would make the holder of that rating otherwise eligible to compete for the sanctioning organization’s title. 


4. It is the sense of the ABC that Extreme Weight Cutting to make a weight and then rapidly rehydrate to gain a competitive advantage is contrary to the spirit of the weight class that was designed for the health and safety and fair competition. 

The Association of Boxing Commissions make the following statement in the ratings criteria. 

Extreme Weight Cutting is Cheating. Extreme Weight Cutting is Dangerous 

Any 8, 10, or 12 round championship Bout will be subject to a follow up weigh-in held at a time and place determined by the local commission. At this follow up weigh-in the boxers cannot exceed 10% of the Bout contract weight. 

For example, bout contract is for 147lbs. 147 * 10% = 14.7lbs thus this boxer cannot exceed 161.7lbs. 

If the boxer misses weight at this second day weigh-in the bout shall continue as a title fight only for the boxer that has made weight. If the over-weight boxer wins this bout they cannot claim the title. If the champion is the over-weight boxer and he/she wins the bout, the title becomes vacant. It should be noted that there is NO losing weight at this Second day weigh-in – you weigh-in once and that is it. 

There shall be a minimum FINE for missing weight on either day of at least 10% of the offender’s purse that shall go to the other boxer. Commissions may also choose to fine and/or issue a suspension to the offender. 

Any rated boxer who exceeds the contracted weight for any championship bout shall be immediately removed from the ratings of all sanctioning organizations and shall not be rated in that weight class until he/she makes weight in that weight class in a future bout. 

** If adopted this proposal will take effect on January 1, 2019. It is the intention of the ABC to lower the 10% maximum in the future.