See also: Department of Gaming, Arizona Department of Racing
Authority – Transferred
Limited boxing and sparring matches were first authorized in 1919 and the Arizona State Athletic Commission was established in 1958. Laws 1982, Chapter 39 created the Arizona State Boxing Commission, which was renamed as the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission in 2010. Laws 2015, Chapter 19 established the Division of Boxing within the Department of Gaming. Statutory authority for the Commission is found at A.R.S.§§5-221 et seq.
The Commission regulates and supervises all boxing, kickboxing, tough man, and mixed martial arts events in Arizona to ensure compliance with laws and regulation and, thereby, protect all participants. The Commission issues licenses, oversees contests and is authorized to conduct investigations and take disciplinary action as needed.
Laws 1919, Chapter 167 authorized limited boxing and sparring matches in Arizona, subject to specific restrictions. Matches were limited to ten rounds, could not be held on Sunday, and contestants were required to wear padded gloves of at least eight ounces each. Boxers had to be declared to be physically fit by a physician. Written notice to the sheriff of the county where the match was to be held had to be provided at least five days prior to the match, a permit from the mayor or county board of supervisors was required, and the ticket price had to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
Laws 1958, Chapter 97 established the Arizona State Athletic Commission to regulate all professional boxing, sparring and wrestling matches and exhibitions. The Commission was made up of three members appointed by the Governor to three-year terms. Provisions of the act applied in any county with a population of more than 125,000. The provisions of the act applied in counties with a population of less than 125,000 if the board of supervisors adopted a resolution asking the Commission to assume jurisdiction of professional boxing and wrestling in that county.
In 1982 the Arizona State Athletic Commission was renamed the Arizona State Boxing Commission (Laws 1982, Chapter 39).
Laws 1992, Chapter 337 transferred responsibility to collect license fees, taxes on gross receipts, and cash and surety bonds from the Boxing Commission to the Arizona Department of Racing. The law also allowed the Department of Racing and the Boxing Commission to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to provide office space, communication services and administrative and clerical support to the Commission.
In 1997, tough man and non-traditional fighting contests were authorized and the Commission was allowed to enter into intergovernmental agreements with tribes to regulate boxing contests on Indian reservations (Laws 1997, Chapter 294).
In 2010, the name of the Commission was changed to the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission (Laws 2010, Chapter 269).
Laws 2013, Chapter 72 modified requirements, exemptions and licensing requirements pertaining to boxing and mixed martial arts.
Laws 2015, Chapter 19 established a division of boxing and a division of racing within the Arizona Department of Gaming. The measure conveyed regulatory authority for horse racing, dog racing, harness racing, pari-mutuel wagering, boxing and mixed martial arts to the Department of Gaming, effective July 3, 2015.
Laws 2016, Chapter 22 continued the Commission for two years, until July 1, 2018.
Arizona Revised Statutes
- Laws 1919, Chapter 167
- Laws 1958, Chapter 97
- Laws 1982, Chapter 39
- Laws 1992, Chapter 337
- Laws 1997, Chapter 294
- Laws 2010, Chapter 269
- Laws 2013, Chapter 72
- Laws 2015, Chapter 19
- Laws 2016, Chapter 22
Master List of State Government Programs http://www.ospb.state.az.us
Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission website: http://www.boxingandmma.az.gov
Arizona Department of Racing website: http://www.racing.az.gov
Related collections at Arizona State Archives:
Record Group 41 – Arizona Gaming Commission
Record Group 190 – Arizona Racing Commission