11 Jun 2012

Boxing association wants stricter code

6:56 pm on 11 June 2012

The Professional Boxing Association says the dearth of laws covering kickboxing, cage-fighting and other martial arts is putting lives at risk and wants the law tightened up to stop boxers competing overseas without proper medical clearance.

Under a voluntary code, every professional boxer must have current medical clearance. However, that can't be legally enforced.

Association president Lance Revill says he is concerned that some promoters in Australia are actively recruiting New Zealand fighters without medical clearance.

Mr Revill says most are losing on points and do not get hurt.

"But the ones that are getting knocked out that's clearly a concern to us, because they are immediately put on a three-month stand down period and then they've got to be checked over before they are able to fight again."

Mr Revill says while professional boxing matches in New Zealand must have police clearance, other fight sports such as kickboxing, cage-fighting and other martial arts are not subject to any law.

"Guys can punch and kick, yet they don't require a police permit and it's going to take an injury or a death before someone does anything about it."

Mr Revill the industry has been lobbying for a stricter legal code for several years, but no government has yet taken it seriously.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Internal Affairs says no changes are being planned at this stage to the Boxing and Wrestling Act.