Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance last Friday filed civil charges against former Golden Gloves boxer Anthony Young, who is reported to have seriously injured several participants in a Toughman contest in Maryville, Tennessee last September.
Before the competition, Young had reportedly told regulators that he had participated in only three fights in the past five years. But investigators have reportedly found evidence that Young had a substantial boxing record of more than 30 wins in his 10-year career.
Toughman contests are supposed to be for amateur fighters who are equally matched against each other. Young won $1,000 in
the Maryville contest.
“This unfortunate case only underscores the need to outlaw these Toughman contests. The state simply cannot regulate these fights in a way that truly protects the public,”said Asst. Commissioner Robert Gowan, who is spearheading Gov. Phil Bredesen’s legislative effort to ban Toughman events. “These contests enrich promoters and nightspot operators and endanger the lives of competitors.”
More than 20 states have outlawed Toughman-style competitions, in which supposedly amateur fighters square off against each other in an elimination-style tournament.
Last year, a Florida woman was killed in a Toughman match in which she was pitted against a much more experienced fighter.
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