Below is a short Bobby Razak film dedicated to the legalization of MMA in the state of New York.
Despite holding the mitts briefly in the video (approximately the 7:25 mark), I had no idea that MMA was illegal in New York. It wasn’t until after we exited the ring that I learned about the purpose of the brief film.Â It is definitely worth a look for all fans of combat sports.
I am shocked that MMA is banned in New York and can only hope it is a matter of time before it is legalized. New York has such a rich history in boxing. Madison Square Garden has played host to some of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport. John L. Sullivan was the first heavyweight champion to box at the original Madison Square Garden. Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Jake Lamotta at the Garden in 1942. Joe Louis defended his title eight times at the Garden. The first Ali vs. Frazier fight took place at the Garden. The list of champions who have fought in New York is literally endless. The New York gym scene is also rich in history. Stillman’s Gym was once the center of the boxing universe.Â A separate Hall of Fame could be dedicated to that gym alone.
How can a state that has such a rich history in boxing turn its back on MMA?Â Both sports can and should thrive together.Â There is no need for separation.Â There are talented athletes who dedicate their lives to each sport.Â Why should MMA fighters be denied the privilege of fighting in New York?
Within the film, boxing promoter Bob Arum makes a comment about spectators and participants with tattoos.Â Must I remind him that he promotes Miguel Cotto, a boxer who has several tattoos.Â Could this really be a reason why he wouldn’t want the sport in New York?Â Â Â Â Are we going to pretend that all boxing events are peaceful and civil?
Perhaps he has forgotten the 1996 brawl that took place during the Riddick Bowe vs. Andrew Golota bout.Â Oddly enough, the location of this appalling riot was Madison Square Garden.Â I was there with several fighters from our old gym.Â Â Lou Duva was carried out on a stretcher right past us.Â You can see a video of the riot here.
MMA has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years and will only continue to advance.Â The sport isn’t going anywhere but forward.Â New York needs to open its doors to one of the most popular sports in existence.Â Hopefully this film will expedite the much needed change in law.