New York Boxing Commission Tightens the Belt

No offense to Buffalo’s Greg Brady, but the biggest story of last Thursday’s Niagara Falls fight card that featured his coming-out party as a cruiserweight prospect may have taken place outside of the ring.

Brady, who survived a second round knockdown to score his fifth consecutive kayo victory, was thrust into the main event only after the real main event fell apart when both Nick Casal’s partner, Shakha Moore, and Vincent Arroyo’s opponent, Marlon Lewis, failed their prefight physicals.

With Lewis there was last minute concern over a recent MRI. He suffered a one-round knockout his last time out in November. It’s on Youtube ( Lewis takes maybe fifteen punches to the head in the fight and goes down three times. The referee doesn’t even give him a chance to recover the third time and stops it. Lewis never comes close to losing consciousness or shows signs of any lingering impairment, but who really knows. The Commission deserves the benefit of the doubt over legitimate concerns over a fighter’s brain scan.

Shakha Moore was a different story. Moore was excluded for having undergone LASIK vision correction surgery. LASIK leaves a corneal flap that carries the remote possibility of becoming disturbed from something like a punch in the face. Certainly it wouldn’t be sporting for the man to hurt his eyes, but it doesn’t seem like a life-threatening issue, and – insurance wonks and attorneys aside – that should be the measuring stick for blocking a boxer’s chance to compete two days before a bout with 3,000 tickets sold. I know the Casal camp along with most boxing people in the Buffalo area were incredulous that such a thing could happen.

A Boxing Commission official I spoke to ringside at the Niagara Falls Convention and Event Center couldn’t help but recognize what everyone involved with the card recognized, that things might be getting a little weird for boxing in New York State in the wake of Magomed Abdusalamov’s life-threatening injury sustained in the ring last November in Madison Square Garden.

The Dagestani heavyweight Abdusalamov was never knocked down but took a beating in a ten-round decision loss, suffering injuries from which he will most likely never recover. Last month, his wife served notice that she’d be moving forward with a $100 million lawsuit against the New York State Athletic Commissions, stating he suffered “significant and permanent brain damage” due to “improper, untimely and inadequate medical care and treatment” by New York State.

The official expressed that no new regulations or requirements are on the books for prospective pugilists, but agreed that the interpretation of those books may be changing as the state is obviously being more careful. On fight night, promoter Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons stated that this may give the fight world pause in putting on cards in New York.

How this might effect boxing in the home state of Carmen Basilio, Gene Tunney and Mike Tyson to name just a few, remains to be seen. Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s camp has not committed to Las Vegas for his May fight against Marcos Maidana, saying they wanted to kick the tires on the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

Or will this only affect smaller cards that don’t have the major financial backing of network TV? The Showtime/Mayweather Promotions card at Turning Stone Casino on Friday night went off without a hitch.

Talking with Nick Casal’s father and manager Ray Casal the day after the fight, Ray said they were looking to set up a fight out-of-state as soon as possible. The Casal camp wants to fight in places like Buffalo, Niagara Falls, or Verona (Turning Stone Casino), but going into his 30th month of an expected stall during what should be his prime of athletic life, Casal needs to fight now to get back to to where he wants to be, and his camp is rightfully anxious to get back in the ring.

We will continue to monitor the standards and practices of the Commission, and the Abdusalamov lawsuit.



-deepwater2 :

They better be tightening the belt. Telling mago and his team to catch a cab to the hospital is irresponsible . Emt teams and ambulances must be at every card for a reason. Better safe then sorry. The ringside dr should of been glued to mago after that war and suggested your going to the freakin hospital or a cat scan or your never fighting in ny again.

-Radam G :

WOW! I'm still trying to figure what to say that would not be my normal brutal-to-the-dumb-@$$ powers-that-be hard stuff. Two of the worst and more corrupted commissions in boxing are the Cali and NY ones. Anybody and dey ugly cousin who had read anything that I have ever posted know that I've always said that. Both commissions have a bunch of lying weasels and squirres. And they both have a HISTORY of telling fighters to "catch a cab" and "go to the hospital" on your own. My cousins, the medical and emergency-room doctors, have literally save fighters' lives who came to the hospitals in dire damage after commission-selected bottom doctors told them to "catch a cab...." I'll written that in this Universe umpteen times, but I don't want to go to my archives of more than 6,600 posts to find some of my very-revealing copy on the trifling-arse commissions of Cali and NY. They have a bunch of lying bottom-doctors/bytches, who also always have had the power to get out of these many boksing cripplings and killings by incompetence, and are doing it again. I don't know how to handle commenting on this piece. I guess that I just personally know and knew too many fighters that were saved by others (with the big money)fighters and fans, because these fighters and fans took those fighters to the hospital A-S-A-P. What these commissions need, are some caring, competent doctors and health workers with HEARTS. [A lot of these fighters could not catch a cab anyway, because they are paid in ways that they don't have cash or a credit card or bank card to pay for the cabs.] In these days of quick, legit news, and what has happened to Mago has OUTTED [sic] more of the shadiness, seediness and sneakiness and even sociopathic-ness of boxing's commission doctors. WOW! Like I've said tons of times: "Da game is full of optical illusions" and can cause many and plenty contusions. Because of incompetent commission doctors, every top gun with da big bucks has his/her own personal FIGHT DOCTOR. Holla!

-boxfan1 :

Turning Stone Casino (Verona,NY) shows are not NY State Athletic Commission shows. They have their own tribal commission, the Oneida Athletic Commission.