McGre­gor could ad­dress Congress in rights cam­paign for fighters

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

(Reuters) - Mixed mar­tial arts cham­pion Conor McGre­gor could speak in the United States Congress to help with a cam­paign to ex­tend the le­gal pro­tec­tions en­joyed by box­ers to MMA fighters, ac­cord­ing to Con­gress­man Mark­wayne Mullin.

Mullin, a for­mer fighter, is try­ing to get a bill passed which would ex­tend the “Ali Act” - which pro­tects the rights of box­ers - to MMA.

He says McGre­gor, who lost a multi-mil­lion dol­lar box­ing bout against Floyd May­weather last month af­ter switch­ing fight­ing codes, may help him to do it.

“We have been told by his team that he (McGre­gor) was go­ing to come to the (Capi­tol) Hill to talk about this,” Mullin, a Repub­li­can from Ok­la­homa, told Reuters in an in­ter­view.

En­acted in 2000, the Muham­mad Ali Box­ing Re­form Act is in­tended to pro­tect the rights of box­ers and to help U.S. states to reg­u­late the sport and main­tain its in­tegrity.

Among the safe­guards of­fered to box­ers by the Act are pro­tec­tion from “co­er­cive con­tracts”, the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­de­pen­dent rank­ing sys­tem and the ban­ning of pro­mot­ers from hav­ing a “di­rect or in­di­rect fi­nan­cial in­ter­est” in the man­age­ment of fighters.

Mullin is press­ing for an­other hear­ing on the Ali Ex­ten­sion Act in Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber, yet as both a de facto govern­ing body and a pro­moter, the UFC, the most high-pro­file and lu­cra­tive MMA or­ga­ni­za­tion, is re­sist­ing the move.

UFC’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Lawrence Ep­stein told Reuters that the body was al­ready “ex­ceed­ing the re­quire­ments when it comes to health and safety and con­tracts”.

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