« Richter delays release of Senate gambling bill until Feb. 24 | Main | Gov. Rick Scott hosting event at Tropicana Field to celebrate spring training baseball »

State office issues warning about unlicensed combat sports

Florida has its share of under-the-radar  “combat sports,” including “fighting” matches involving strippers, backyard brawls and unlicensed boxing events.

One of those events involved celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman, who was banned from holding an unlicensed celebrity fight in a Fort Lauderdale hotel in 2011. Feldman was recently in the news for planning a controversial boxing match pitting George Zimmerman, acquited in the death of Trayvon Martin, and rap star DMX, expected to take place in March in Philadelphia, if it actually happens. The hype alone has prompted a groundswell of opposition.

Unlicensed combat sports are often undetected until someone files a complaint or gets hurt, so the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation has issued a cautionary note to warn consumers and amateur athletes about the dangers of these events, whether you're a participant or bystander. 

“If they’re not following rules, there are obvious safety violations that could occur,’’ said Beth Frady, deputy communications director of the DBPR. Equipment could be substandard and these types of unlicensed events often attract unscrupulous spectators, she said.

Combat sports licensed and regulated in Florida include boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts (unarmed combat that includes grappling, kicking and striking).

 

 

Professional events are sanctioned by the Florida State Boxing Commission. Amateur events must be sanctioned by a licensed Amateur Sanctioning Organization.

Violators are subject to fines of $1,000 and higher for multiple offenses and possible criminal charges, depending on the circumstances.

Cases are widely varied. In one case, for instance, students from Lehigh Acres, west of Fort Myers, were involved in unlicensed boxing matches, fighting with “full head contact” and recruiting fellow teens to compete in these unregulated brawls. Law enforcment was involved in this case, with detectives getting help in finding the participants through videos on Facebook.

 In another case, a West Palm Beach club, Cream, said its boxing events were staged “with girls” and not real boxing but the club was ordered to stop holding the matches.  

 

 

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

FinallyJustice

So, when Trayvon Martin organized street fights to demonstrate what a bad ass he was, he was breaking the law.

Meanwhile, George Zimmerman continues to do good works, this time by redirecting a vicious smear campaign into a charitable cause. That is an amazing feat.

NoneyaBiz

George Zimmerman is NOT a celebrity. He's a murderer! And Will end up where he belongs. In Jail! Sooner than later.

FinallyJustice

Zimmerman is a celebrity, terminating a thug who is assaulting you is not murder (remember the jury acquitted) and the world would be a better place if you hold your breath while waiting for jail. America has rule of law, we are all better off because of this.

It seems that we have a group of people who feel justified in acting as if they are above the law. Keep it up, eventually there will be a huge backlash. By the time you see the backlash so much momentum will exist that it will be too late to stop it.

The comments to this entry are closed.