On this day in boxing history, the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, also known as the Ali Act, was enacted by the 106th Congress to 1.) protect the rights and welfare of boxers 2.) aid state boxing commissions with the oversight of boxing and 3.) increase sportsmanship and integrity within the boxing industry.
Congress noted through research that there were a number of problems with the sport of boxing which needed to be changed to ensure the safety and protection of professional boxers. Listed are a number of discoveries made by Congress:
- Professional boxing is not governed by any league, association, or any form of an established organization like majority of other professional sports.
- The state officials are not ensuring the protection of the boxers and are not aware or informed of contracts boxers have agreed to.
- Promoters are taking advantage of the sport by conducting dishonest business affairs. Promoters are not being punished due to some states being less strict about the legal terms that are stated in contracts.
- There is no rating system provided to rank professional boxers thus ratings are subjected to manipulation by those in charge.
- There has been a major interference in the sport because of open competition by restrictive and anti-competitive bodies.
- There are no restrictions placed on contracts that boxers agree to with promoters and managers. It is necessary to enforce a national contract reform which will guarantee the safety of professional boxers and the public from unlawful contracts and to enhance the integrity of the sport.
The Ali Act has been criticized for numerous reasons. First off, the Act provides rules but leaves the enforcement of these rules to the state without defined guidelines. Other criticism stems from the fact that some believe that Congress has no purpose regulating the boxing industry, especially if it does not regulate any other sport