New York's new law that legalized MMA has now caused problems for the sport of boxing.
Promoter Lou DiBella, who runs many boxing cards in the state, has now canceled all fight cards for the rest of the year that would take place in New York, which included a fight card headlined by WBC International Female Super Bantamweight champion Heather Hardy. DiBella told ESPN that the sport is being hurt by this new law.
"There is such a rich history of boxing in New York," DiBella said. "And now the sport has, for all intents and purposes, been evicted by a legislature willfully ignorant of both the boxing and insurance industries. The actions of the powers that be in Albany and their political appointees are depriving New York state residents in the sport of boxing from their livelihoods. This is hitting boxers very hard, as most struggle to pay their bills and need to be active. Small businesses are being put at jeopardy with no recourse or ability to continue plying their trade. This is a disgraceful abuse of legislative and state power."
The new law that was made official recently includes new insurance regulations, including dramatically increased premiums that promoters must pay in order to run a show. Premiums skyrocketed from $10,000 to $50,000 for general medical coverage per fighter on each card as well as requiring a $1 million minimum requirement for each fighter in the event the fighter suffers a traumatic brain injury.
As for Hardy, she also agrees with DiBella's feelings. Hardy said that female boxers are being affected greatly by the increase in financial investment by promoters.
"These new insurance restrictions are not just destroying the sport of boxing in New York, they are destroying my livelihood," Hardy said. "Do you have any idea what life looks like for a professional boxer, especially one who is a female and a single parent? With these new laws, fewer shows and dates being moved or canceled, I don't know how I'm going to survive at all, let alone the upcoming holiday season. I'm going to have to go back to delivering books and answering phones to try to cover the bills."
The last time there was a boxing card in New York was August 21, Hardy's last fight. There are no boxing cards confirmed for New York in the rest of the year. Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs had been negotiating a fight at Madison Square Garden for December, but now both sides are aiming for an early 2017 fight date.