The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) is taking a major step forward in terms of athlete representation.
On Wednesday, the ABC announced the creation of an “athlete’s voice committee” with the goal of better connecting fighters and regulators, providing athletes with an avenue to voice their concerns and affording regulators increased opportunities to educate fighters on key issues of the sport.
“The ABC hopes this committee will allow all fighters to understand the sport from a regulatory standpoint,” Michael Mazzulli, President of the ABC stated in the press release. “At every weigh-in I ask fighters questions relating to rules and regulations, and it is apparent to me a majority of combative participants do not have clear knowledge of the Rules and Scoring Criteria. This committee will also allow fighters a voice at the table.”
The committee will be chaired by New York State Athletic Commission Executive Director Kim Sumbler and will be comprised of six volunteer ABC members, along with seven retired professional fighters. Among the volunteer members is Wyoming Combat Sports Commission Executive Director Nick Meeker, Colorado Combative Sports Executive Director Tony Cummings, South Carolina State Athletic Commission administrator Jon Hollingsworth, attorney Erik Magraken of the ABC rules and regulations committee and boxing referee Jack Reiss.
Fighters confirmed to participate are former UFC welterweight champ Carlos Newton and former lightweight and current UFC analyst Din Thomas. UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has also been attached to the project.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this historical moment for our community, and I’m honored to help where I can,” Thomas stated in the press release.
The ABC has a number of committees that meet regularly to discuss current events in combat sports. Committee decisions are not binding but may be brought before the ABC body on vote on annually.
In the coming weeks the ABC will publish a form on its website for athletes who wish to participate in the committee.