Ron Katz meets with commission, ‘hopeful’ about change to insurance
Star Boxing Matchmaker Ron Katz left a private meeting with officials from the New York State Athletic Commission on Wednesday “hopeful” that new, costlier health insurance regulations could be amended after they were approved earlier in the day.
Katz, who works for Joe DeGaurdia’s Star Boxing, said the commission members acknowledged they have the discretion to amend the regulations if they see fit. Lou DiBella attorney Alex Dombroff, who was also at the meeting, brought up that point to the commission staff at the discussion, which included newly installed interim executive director, Anthony Giardina, Eric Bentley, the commission’s new director of boxing and Jim Leary, general counsel of the New York Department of State.
“Alex made the point if it doesn’t happen like you want it to happen, you have the power to adjust those numbers,” Katz told RingTV.com. “And I think they want to do something but they said, ‘We can’t just spit in the eye of the legislators that implemented this.’ So we have to present them with what’s going on, why it’s unreasonable and not doable. That’s step one.”
The vote, taken at the Department of State offices in lower Manhattan on Wednesday, approved regulations that were part of the bill to legalize mixed martial arts in New York. In addition to legalizing MMA, it also increased health insurance coverage for combat sports from $10,000 to $50,000 for basic medical coverage. The commission also signed off on legislation for coverage in the amount of $1 million in the event of a serious head injury that promoters say is not feasible because they wouldn’t be able to foot the bill for the $1 million insurance bond.
The commission members told Katz and Dombroff they should receive the policy from an insurance company tabbed to underwrite the new policy possibly next week. Katz said the commission members seemed to grasp the gravity of the situation.
“They’re very proactive and they want to resolve this because obviously they want activity,” said Katz, who has a pair of club shows at the Paramount Theater in Long Island tentatively scheduled for Oct. 14 and Dec. 3 — pending the resolution of the insurance issue. “They’re aware of everything and they’ve put in many hours to try and make this work. They’re trying their best to resolve this. That’s the feeling I got. We’re all hopeful that things work out. Otherwise, everyone has to move their base of operations out of New York.”