WASHINGTON - The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act was approved by the House of Representatives unanimously Monday.
The legislation was sponsored by Senators Richard Bryan, D-Nev., and John McCain, R-Ariz. Already approved by the Senate, it now heads to the President for final approval.
"This legislation represents a giant leap toward achieving much needed reform within the boxing industry," said Bryan, adding that boxing has a severe credibility crisis.
The two senators said the law is designed to prevent unethical business practices by promoters, managers and sanctioning bodies. It puts a one year limit on promotional rights, prohibits promoters and sanctioning bodies from requiring boxers to provide exclusive options in mandatory bout situations and prohibits requiring a boxer to hire any specific individual as a manager or other job on his team.
It also prohibits a promoter from having a financial interest in management of a boxer or promoter.
In addition, the final version of the measure includes Sen. Harry Reid's amendment which includes HBO, Showtime and other major broadcasting firms in the definition of promoters. He said the bill also protects resorts in Nevada and other places from liability when they host a match but don't produce or promote the event.
"When this legislation is enacted, the sport can once again begin to regain some of its lost credibility, through decades of mismanagement and less than respectable business practices by unscrupulous promoters," Bryan said.