Chicagoland boxing promoter Bobby Hitz announced today that Hitz Boxing will discontinue promoting fights in Illinois until changes are made at the Illinois Boxing Commission. The changes include: clarification of and consistent implementation of rules; a policy that dictates how long the commission has to approve permits/licenses; and adequate staffing that allows for the office to service those who depend on it for licenses and permits.
“On behalf of Hitz Boxing I have decided that our organization will stop promoting fights in Illinois until the boxing commission starts working with promoters in a fair and equitable manner,” said Hitz. “It’s a tough decision, but since October of last year, I have had to cancel two shows, including a March 19 fight at the Belvedere Ballroom in Elk Grove Village, because the state’s boxing commission continues to change rules and regulations in an arbitrary manner. I currently stage my successful ‘Fight Night at the Horseshoe’ in Hammond, Indiana and I am impressed with the professionalism shown by the Indiana Boxing Commission.”
Recently Hitz learned that although he holds a valid Illinois promoter’s license, which does not expire until October of this year, he must secure a performance bond for his license to be honored when he files an application to stage an event. When Hitz secured his current license in 2011, he was given the choice of providing a financial statement or performance bond, but was not required to provide both.
“When I applied for my license, I provided my financial statement which was accepted by the commission and a license was issued. Now they demanded a performance bond before they would consider my application to stage an event on March 19, even though they have not required this for other fights I have had approved under this license” said Hitz. “How does the commission defend changing licensing requirements midstream?”
In October of 2012, Hitz was forced to cancel another fight after he was informed by the commission, at the last minute, that fighters would be required to submit to MRIs to test for concussions to be eligible to fight. After the cancellation, the commission reversed the directive and told Hitz the tests would not be required.
“I believe in protecting the fighters so I have no problem with the testing of boxers, but the demand the boxing commission placed on us a couple of weeks before a match and after the permit had been issued without that requirement made it impossible to fulfill their request,” said Hitz. “Then to turn around and have them inform us that the test was not necessary after we canceled the event was beyond frustrating.”
In addition to troubles with licenses and regulations, Hitz has found that although the commission has strict deadlines it does not respond to those who have applied for licenses and permits in a timely fashion. Additionally, there have been days in which no one was in the office.
“I applied for a permit for a March 19 fight on February 15 and was given the run around for weeks. I informed the commission on Monday, March 3, that since I had not heard from them that I would be canceling the fight. Then on, March 5, I get an approval which would have only given me two weeks to pull this off,” said Hitz. “I have talked to others who share my frustration when it comes to the Illinois Boxing Commission.”