Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Two companies to sell insurance in NY waiting

Fighters Network

The New York State Athletic Commission may have finally found an insurance company willing to underwrite the new health insurance requirements in the state that have threatened to destroy boxing there.

Two insurance companies — AIG and United States Fire Insurance, Co. — have filed forms with the Department of Financial Services to sell the boxing/MMA medical insurance in New York, a spokesman for the Department of State (DOS) told on Wednesday.

No shows have been formally announced in New York for the rest of 2016 and 2017 in large part because of the new health insurance measures that have driven up costs, particularly a $1 million minimum requirement for each fighter in the case of a serious head injuries that is financially out of reach of most promoters. Beyond just being expensive, promoters have had to sit by for an insurance company to even step up to provide the insurance. That may finally be happening.

“Once policies are approved and in place, we will continue to see great boxing events in our State,” Laz Benitez, a spokesman for the DOS, told “We are confident that the filings will be approved and that the insurance will be available in the very near future.”

Joe DeGuardia has been one of the busiest promoters in the state for years. But the news didn’t exactly lift his spirits. Benitez couldn’t give a specific timetable for when the policies will go into effect and Deguardia has listened to similar rumors before. “I’ve heard the same thing and that was over a week ago and nothing happened,” DeGuardia said in a phone interview. “Right now, there is no approval. Right now, there is nothing that exists and like everybody else we’re waiting to find out when it does because the reality is that we can’t do boxing until we have that insurance.”

DeGuardia had to cancel an Oct. 14 show at the Paramount Theater in Long Island due to the uncertainty. He has another date on Dec. 3 at the same venue but that is also at risk of cancellation if a solution isn’t found. Even after an insurance company has been approved, promoters still have to look at the new policy to see if it’s affordable.

“Then we have to look at the prices and stuff like that,” DeGuardia said. “Certainly, there’s not going to be any boxing for October. It’s too soon now to do it. And November is coming along. I have December but I’m not hopeful of it. Time keeps ticking by and we’ve had to forgo a major fight that we were looking at for December that we couldn’t do here.”

DeGuardia declined to give any details on the fight. But promoters such as Bob Arum, Tom Loeffler, Eric Gomez and Lou DiBella, who routinely do major shows in New York, have held off on announcing any fights in New York because of the unresolved issues with the insurance, which were part of the bill to legalize MMA in the state in April.

“You’ll know that you have news when someone books a boxing match,” DeGuardia quipped. “Right now, we don’t have that and the reason we don’t have that is because of this situation.”

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