1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act

The 1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act established minimum health and safety standards for professional boxing and provided for limited federal oversight by the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission. The Act helps state boxing commissions or offices provide oversight for the sport.

Under the Boxing Safety Act, boxing matches are illegal in any state without a boxing commission or boxing office unless it is supervised by another state with a commission or boxing office.

Requirements for a boxing event include the following:

  • Each boxer must have a physical examination attesting that the boxer is physically fit to safely compete.
  • An ambulance and medical personnel must be present on site.
  • A physician must be continuously present at ringside.
  • Each boxer must have health insurance that covers injuries sustained in the bout.

A boxer must register with the state boxing office and/or commission in the state where he or she resides and obtain a federal identification card to be renewed every three years. The Boxing Authority evaluates the professional records and medical records for each boxer participating in a bout. The Boxing Authority must deny authorization to boxers who are under suspension, due to recent knockout or series of consecutive losses, an injury, failing a drug test, or using false aliases or tampering with ID cards.

Using false names while on suspension use to be a major problem. The legislation requiring the pictured federal identification card essentially eliminated the problem. The Safe Boxing Act also addressed issues such as conflict of interest, enforcement and criminal penalties.