LOS ANGELES-It looks like the state of California is tackling the transgender issue in the fight game.
California State Athletic Commission has decided to look into whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete with other prizefighters. A subcommittee was formed to look into the complicated issue.
Fallon Fox (seen above), a transgender female, seeks to compete against female prizefighters in California and took the first official step at the CSAC meeting at Ronald Reagan Building. She was represented by a team consisting of three women including Amy Whelan and Helen Carroll from the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Dr. Paul Wallace who works with CSAC said that, its been an interesting process. Ive already been contacted by 12 other commissions.
Fox was not present.
Two subcommittees were formed to look into the transgender competition issue.
Executive Officer Andy Foster emphasized that the rest of the country is looking to see what process CSAC takes on the issue.
I think that its important to do it right, said Foster.
Advisors estimate the process should take at least a year.
It still has to go through the regulatory process, said Michael Santiago, senior staff counsel for CSAC.
Pension Plan, Grading Officials and other stuff
With a build-up of more than $5 million accumulated through the boxing pension plan since the early 1980s CSAC decided on early requests from former junior lightweight world champion Gabriel Ruelas and fighter George Parra.
Both Ruelas and Parra asked to be given their pension monies though neither is at the minimum 50-year-old age requirement. But both satisfy the amount of rounds and years needed to qualify in California.
I need it. Im homeless, said Parra, 45. How low can I go.
CSAC 6-0 voted to give Ruelas and Parra their pension monies.
Weve been having a hard time finding the boxers, said Commissioner VanBuren Lemon about the inability to dole out pension money because of the unknown whereabouts of many of the retired boxers that qualify.
Judging the judges and referees
The Commission also voted to use a grading list devised by the late Larry Rozadilla and used by prior commissions to assess the judges and referees after prizefights.
Commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez asked to reinstate the evaluation process that proved successful in her opinion. Others agree that a change is necessary to have the best officials especially on the major fight cards.
Were not always using our best officials, said Executive Officer Foster, who is a former mixed martial arts fighter. If you have a (referee) John McCarthy sitting on the sideline, thats a tragedy.
The Commission also wants a better system of assigning the best referees and judges to fight cards instead of basing assignments on geographic locale.
Next Meeting
CSAC voted to have the next meeting on June 10 in Los Angeles. Chairman John Frierson asked that meetings be held more frequently, perhaps once a month or every six weeks.