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   104th Congress 1st            SENATE                 Report
         Session
                                                       104-159
_______________________________________________________________________



                                                       Calendar No. 209



 
                     PROFESSIONAL BOXING SAFETY ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

                  COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND
                             TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 187



                                     

 October 19 (legislative day, October 18), 1995.--Ordered to be printed
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

    ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

           FIRST SESSION

  LARRY PRESSLER, South Dakota, 
             Chairman
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina   BOB PACKWOOD, Oregon
DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii             TED STEVENS, Alaska
WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky            JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
J. JAMES EXON, Nebraska              CONRAD BURNS, Montana
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West VirginiaSLADE GORTON, Washington
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         TRENT LOTT, Mississippi
JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana            KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada             OLYMPIA SNOWE, Maine
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri
  Patric G. Link, Chief of Staff
Kevin G. Curtin, Democratic Chief 
    Counsel and Staff Director
                                                       Calendar No. 209
104th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                    104-159
_______________________________________________________________________



                     PROFESSIONAL BOXING SAFETY ACT

                                _______


 October 19 (legislative day, October 18), 1995.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


      Mr. Pressler, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 187]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill joint resolution deg. (S. 
187) TITLE deg. ``A Bill to provide for the safety of 
journeymen boxers, and for other purposes'', having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill joint resolution deg. do 
pass.

                           purpose of measure

  The bill, S. 187, as reported, seeks to improve the 
regulation of professional boxing. The bill enhances the 
ability of state boxing commissions to provide proper oversight 
of professional boxing matches by expanding the system of 
safety precautions that protect the welfare of professional 
boxers.

                          background and need

  Most states currently regulate professional boxing matches 
and determine whether participants are fit to fight. States do 
not, however, uniformly address safety issues and the efficacy 
of safety enforcement varies dramatically from state to state. 
Some states have no health and safety requirements at all.
  The main medical problem confronting boxers is chronic brain 
injury. Dr. Barry Jordan, Professor of Neurology at Cornell 
Medical School and Team Physician for the U.S.A. Amateur Boxing 
Federation, testified before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee 
on Investigations on March 10, 1995. Dr. Jordan indicated that 
20 percent of retired boxers experience chronic brain injuries. 
This results in slurred speech, memory loss, personality 
changes, difficulty walking, and, potentially, Parkinson's 
disease. Dr. Jordan believes boxing for a long period of time, 
particularly if the fighter loses frequently, poses a 
substantial risk of chronic brain injury.
  State athletic commissions are responsible for sanctioning 
boxing contests held in their jurisdiction. Although bouts are 
supposed to feature evenly matched fighters, severe mismatches, 
arranged to improve the superior boxer's record, are not 
unusual. These severely mismatched bouts are dangerous to the 
health of the less experienced fighter.
  A major safety problem is the inadequate maintenance of 
health records for fighters, including suspensions of fighters 
as a result of injuries suffered in the ring. While some states 
have thorough record-keeping procedures, others do not. 
Generally, when a fighter is knocked out, he is prohibited from 
fighting, for a specified period of time, in the state where 
the knockout occurred. Nevertheless, those fighters often 
simply go to another state to get a bout. Ricky Stackhouse's 
boxing career exemplifies this safety problem. In 1989, 
Stackhouse was permanently banned from fighting in New York by 
the state athletic commission. He then fought in Florida and 
was knocked out of a bout by the first punch thrown. After 
Florida suspended him for life, he qualified to fight in 
Michigan. There he was again knocked out early in a fight with 
James Toney, the world middle-weight champion of the 
International Boxing Foundation.

                          legislative history

  Senators McCain and Bryan introduced S. 187 on January 10, 
1995. The text of S. 187 is identical to S. 1991, introduced in 
the 103rd Congress by Senators McCain and Bryan on March 25, 
1994. After considering S. 187 in open executive session, on 
July 20, 1995, the committee ordered the bill reported without 
objection and without amendment.
  In the 103rd Congress, the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation held hearings on the ``health and safety of 
professional boxing'' on January 20, 1994, and on S. 1991 on 
September 22, 1994. The Committee favorably reported S. 1991 on 
September 28, 1994. The bill was not considered by the full 
Senate.

                            estimated costs

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and Section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 1, 1995.
Hon. Larry Pressler,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 187, the 
Professional Boxing Safety Act.
    Enacting S. 187 would affect both direct spending and 
receipts. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply to 
the bill.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    1. Bill number: S. 187.
    2. Bill title: Professional Boxing Safety Act.
    3. Bill status: As ordered reported by the Senate Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on July 20, 1995.
    4. Bill purpose: S. 187 would permit a boxing match to take 
place only in a state that establishes procedures to implement 
the requirements of this bill and that has a state boxing 
commission or a licensing agreement with another state that 
also has a boxing commission. Before boxing in a particular 
state, a boxer would be required to register with the state's 
boxing commission, or, if it had none, to register with a 
boxing commission with which the state has a licensing 
agreement. State boxing commissions would have to issue 
identity cards to registered boxers, develop procedures to 
evaluate the professional records of boxers, and make sure that 
no boxer is permitted to box while under suspension from any 
other state boxing commission. The bill also would require each 
state boxing commission to forward the results of boxing 
matches to the Association of Boxing Commission (ABC) and the 
Florida State Athletic Commission.
    The bill also would permit United States Attorneys to bring 
civil actions against anyone who violates provisions of the 
bill, and would establish criminal fines and penalties for 
violations. Finally, the bill would require the Secretary of 
Labor to conduct a study on the feasibility and cost of a 
national pension plan for professional boxers.
    5. Estimated cost to the Federal Government: CBO estimates 
that enacting S. 189 would have no significant impact on the 
federal budget. S. 189 could affect the federal budget in two 
ways--by permitting United States Attorneys to bring civil 
actions against violators of the bill's provisions, and by 
making violations of its provisions criminal offenses and 
establishing criminal fines for such offenses. As a result, 
enacting S. 189 could affect both federal spending and receipts 
from fines. Based on information from the Office of the United 
States Attorneys, CBO estimates that the bill would not result 
in any significant cost to the federal government for 
additional civil actions brought by U.S. Attorneys. Criminal 
fine collections would be governmental receipts, but based on 
information from the Department Justice (DOJ), we estimate that 
any increase in collections for criminal fines would not be 
significant.
    Criminal fines would be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund 
and spent in the following year as direct spending. The 
increase in direct spending would be the same as the amount of 
fines collected, with a one-year lag. Therefore, additional 
direct spending would also be negligible.
    Based on information from the Department of Labor, 
conducting the study on pension plans for professional boxers 
would cost between $150,000 and $250,000, depending on the 
expense of collecting the data and assuming appropriation of 
the necessary funds.
    6. Pay-as-you-go considerations: Section 252 of the 
Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 sets 
up pay-as-you-go procedures for legislation affecting direct 
spending or receipts through 1998. CBO estimates that enactment 
of S. 187 would affect direct spending and receipts through the 
imposition of criminal fines and resulting spending from the 
Crime Victims Fund. CBO estimates that the amounts involved 
would not be significant. The following table summarizes the 
estimated pay-as-you-go impact of this bill.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    1995      1996      1997      1998  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Change in outlays...............         0         0         0         0
Change in receipts..............         0         0         0         0
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    7. Estimated cost to State and local governments: S. 187 
would require state boxing commissions to issue an 
identification card to each professional boxer who registers 
with the commission. It also would require the commissions to 
establish various procedures and to file reports with the 
Florida State Athletic Commission and with registries certified 
by the ABC.
    Although the bill establishes these requirements for 
existing state boxing commissions (now numbering more than 
thirty), it does not require the states to establish such 
commissions. Boxers residing in a state with no boxing 
commission could register with any other state's commission. 
Promoters seeking to hold a boxing match in a state that does 
not have a boxing commission could enter into an agreement with 
another state's commission to oversee the match. Consequently, 
states without boxing commissions would not have to create them 
to comply with this bill. In addition, several state boxing 
officials have told CBO that many of the commissions are 
already complying with the requirements set out in the bill. As 
a result, we expect that the costs to states from enacting S. 
187 would not be significant.
    8. Estimate comparison: None.
    9. Previous CBO estimate: None.
    10. Estimate prepared by: Federal Cost Estimate: Rachel 
Forward, State and Local Cost Estimate: Pepper Santalucia.
    11. Estimate approved by: Robert R. Sunshine; for Paul N. 
Van de Water, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of this 
legislation.

                       Number of Persons Affected

    The purpose of this bill is to improve the safety of 
professional boxing matches. It will thus affect the actions of 
professional boxers and the promoters of professional boxing 
matches.

                            Economic Impact

    No impact on the nation's economy is anticipated.

                                Privacy

    This legislation will not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of the individuals affected. The legislation 
will, however, require that professional boxers obtain an 
identification card to be presented at the weigh-in before 
every professional boxing event. The legislation also requires 
the reporting of boxing match results to existing national 
registers that distribute reports on matches.

                               Paperwork

    This legislation will require that professional boxers 
register with a State boxing commission. The legislation also 
requires the reporting of boxing match results to existing 
national registers that distribute reports on matches.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 states the short title of the legislation, 
providing that the legislation may be cited as the 
``Professional Boxing Safety Act.''

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 defines terms and phrases used in the bill.

Section 3. Purpose

    Section 3 states the purpose of the bill is to improve and 
expand the system of safety precautions that protect the 
welfare of professional boxers and assist State boxing 
commissions in providing proper oversight of professional 
boxing matches.

Section 4. Professional boxing matches

    Section 4 requires that every professional boxing match in 
the United States be supervised by a state boxing commission. 
If a state does not have a state boxing commission, the fight's 
promoter must contract with the boxing commissioners of another 
state to regulate the fight.
    Currently, Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Dakota, 
Virginia, and Wyoming do not have state boxing commissions. 
Virginia privatized its boxing commission earlier this year by 
entering into a contract with a private association that will 
perform the functions once carried out by the state. The 
District of Columbia is considering proposals to privatize its 
commission.

Section 5. Registration

    Section 5 requires every professional boxer to register 
with the State boxing commission where he resides. Foreign 
boxers coming into the United States for bouts and boxers 
residing in States without boxing commissions must register in 
a State that has a State boxing commission. Section 5 requires 
that boxers be issued an identification card by the state 
commission with which they have registered. That identification 
card must be updated every three years and presented at weigh-
in prior to any boxing event. Section 5 indicates that nothing 
in the section shall be construed to prevent a State from 
applying additional registration requirements.

Section 6. Review

    Section 6 requires State boxing commissions to evaluate the 
records of each boxer participating in a professional bout in 
their state. This evaluation is to ensure the boxers are 
physically able to compete and have adequate boxing skills to 
compete with a qualified opponent. Boxers suspended in one 
State, due to injury or other medical-related reasons, are 
prohibited from fighting in another State.

Section 7. Reporting

    Section 7 requires the reporting of results of a 
professional boxing match, including notice of any suspensions, 
within 48 business hours after the conclusion of a professional 
match. These results are to be reported to the Association of 
Boxing Commissions and the Florida State Athletic Commission. 
The Florida State Athletic Commission distributes a free update 
on all suspended boxers in the United States.

Section 8. Enforcement

    Whenever the United States Attorney in a State has 
reasonable cause to believe the provisions of this bill are 
being violated, the U.S. Attorney may seek in federal court an 
injunction to block the professional bout at issue.
    Criminal penalties are established for violations under the 
bill. Managers, promoters, matchmakers, and licensees who 
knowingly and willfully violate provisions of the bill can be 
fined up to $20,000 or imprisoned up to one year, or both. 
Boxers who knowingly and willfully violate provisions of the 
bill can be fined up to $1,000.

Section 9. Study

    The Department of Labor is required to conduct a study on 
the feasibility and cost of a national pension system for 
professional boxers, and report its findings to the Congress 
within 180 days of the bill's enactment.

                        changes in existing law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill, as reported, makes no change in existing law.