Saturday, February 17, 2007

Senate committee OKs boxing commissioner

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming would gain a state boxing commissioner, in charge of overseeing all boxing and sparring matches and exhibitions in the state, under proposed legislation approved by the Senate Travel Committee Thursday.

The committee endorsed a measure, House Bill 231 that would create the office and give the commissioner per diem compensation and mileage allowance equivalent to that of a state legislator. The commissioner would be appointed by the governor, but would report to the legislature's joint Travel Committee.

Rep. Floyd Esquibel, D-Cheyenne, the bill's sponsor, said Wyoming used to have a state boxing commissioner, but the position was eliminated roughly 20 years ago because there wasn't enough activity to merit continuing the office.

"This is not a new idea," Esquibel said.

According to Esquibel, boxing matches have occurred in Cheyenne under the supervision of Colorado's boxing commissioner.

But he says a recent decree from the federal government now prohibits states that don't have a boxing commissioner from hosting fights.

"In order to have any type of professional boxing, we have to have a boxing commissioner here," Esquibel said.

Esquibel adds that the commissioner also would have jurisdiction over extreme fighting and toughman contests.

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