By Lee Bates
In boxing, the fighters deservingly garner the majority of the headlines. However, the safety and well being of the fighter is a vital concern, and fortunately there are those who are looking out for the best interest of the fighter. Such is the case with the Association of Boxing Commissions, which is very instrumental in the improvement of the sport of boxing. Fightnews caught up with Tim Lueckenhoff, President of the ABC, who spoke on the primary function of the ABC, his daily responsibilities as president, and the possibility of a U.S. national boxing commission to oversee boxing in the U.S.
What exactly is the function ABC for those who may not be completely familiar?
The Association of Boxing Commissions, (ABC) is an association of State and Tribal Boxing Commissions in the United States. The Association also has associate members from provincial and city commissions from Canada. Our mission is to bring about the standardized regulation of boxing among our commissions to protect the health, safety and welfare of the contestants.
If you only handle the U.S. and Canada regulation of boxing is, there an Association for every other country?
I am certain there are associations around the world that have the same concerns as the ABC, however, boxing is regulated differently in the U.S. because of our federal law. Sanctioning organizations in the U.S. have very little input in the selection of officials and the administration of an event. However, you will not always find the same outside the US.
What are some of the things your job entails as President?
I manage the day to day operations of the ABC, handle all the phone and email inquiries regarding events, problems, complaints and those who are just seeking information. Usually on Monday or Tuesday morning I receive reports of problems from the past weekend’s events which might include questionable decisions or contestants being allowed to participate while on the national suspension list. I complete follow-up for those who have reported the information to the ABC.
So I assume this is your fulltime job?
Actually no. The position of President of the Association of Boxing Commissions is a totally voluntary position without pay. My full-time job is to administer the Missouri Office of Athletics, a position I have been in for 14 years.
Are there any new major changes in the works for boxing?
Earlier this year two pieces of legislation were introduced in Congress in Washington DC. Congressman Peter King (NY) and Senator John McCain, (AZ) introduced the legislation which if passed would create a United States Boxing Commission to oversea boxing in the United States. We are not sure of the potential for passage of such legislation, but the ABC will be providing input to the sponsors of the legislation over the next few weeks.