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                                                       Calendar No. 161


  1st Session

                                 S. 305

                          [Report No. 106-83]


                                 A BILL

  To reform unfair and anticompetitive practices in the professional 
                            boxing industry.


                             June 21, 1999

                        Reported with amendments

                                                       Calendar No. 161
  1st Session
                                 S. 305

                          [Report No. 106-83]

  To reform unfair and anticompetitive practices in the professional 
                            boxing industry.



                            January 25, 1999

   Mr. McCain (for himself, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Dorgan, and Mr. Abraham) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
           Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

                             June 21, 1999

         Reported by Mr. Lott (for Mr. McCain) with amendments
  [Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic]


                                 A BILL

  To reform unfair and anticompetitive practices in the professional 
                            boxing industry.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act''.


    The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Professional boxing differs from other major, 
        interstate professional sports industries in the United States 
        in that it operates without any private sector association, 
        league, or centralized industry organization to establish 
        uniform and appropriate business practices and ethical 
        standards. This has led to repeated occurrences of disreputable 
        and coercive business practices in the boxing industry, to the 
        detriment of professional boxers nationwide.
            (2) Professional boxers are vulnerable to exploitative 
        business practices engaged in by certain promoters and 
        sanctioning bodies which dominate the sport. Boxers do not have 
        an established representative group to advocate for their 
        interests and rights in the industry.
            (3) State officials are the proper regulators of 
        professional boxing events, and must protect the welfare of 
        professional boxers and serve the public interest by closely 
        supervising boxing activity in their jurisdiction. State boxing 
        commissions do not currently receive adequate information to 
        determine whether boxers competing in their jurisdiction are 
        being subjected to contract terms and business practices which 
        may be violative of State regulations, or are onerous and 
            (4) Promoters who engage in illegal, coercive, or unethical 
        business practices can take advantage of the lack of equitable 
        business standards in the sport by holding boxing events in 
        states with weaker regulatory oversight.
            (5) The sanctioning organizations which have proliferated 
        in the boxing industry have not established credible and 
        objective criteria to rate professional boxers, and operate 
        with virtually no industry or public oversight. Their ratings 
        are susceptible to manipulation, have deprived boxers of fair 
        opportunities for advancement, and have undermined public 
        confidence in the integrity of the sport.
            (6) Open competition in the professional boxing industry 
        has been significantly interfered with by restrictive and anti-
        competitive business practices of certain promoters and 
        sanctioning bodies, to the detriment of the athletes and the 
        ticket-buying public. Common practices of promoters and 
        sanctioning organizations represent restraints of interstate 
        trade in the United States.
            (7) It is necessary and appropriate to establish national 
        contracting reforms to protect professional boxers and prevent 
        exploitative business practices, and to require enhanced 
        financial disclosures to State athletic commissions to improve 
        the public oversight of the sport.
            (8) Whereas the Congress seeks to improve the integrity and 
        ensure fair practices of the professional boxing industry on a 
        nationwide basis, it deems it appropriate to name this reform 
        in honor of Muhammad Ali, whose career achievements and 
        personal contributions to the sport, and positive impact on our 
        society, are unsurpassed in the history of boxing.


    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to protect the rights and welfare of professional 
        boxers by preventing certain exploitative, oppressive, and 
        unethical business practices they may be subject to on an 
        interstate basis;
            (2) to assist State boxing commissions in their efforts to 
        provide more effective public oversight of the sport; and
            (3) to promoting honorable competition in professional 
        boxing and enhance the overall integrity of the industry.


    The Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 (15 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) 
is amended by--
            (1) redesignating section 15 as 16; and
            (2) inserting after section 14 the following:


    ``(a) Contract Requirements.--
            ``(1) In general.--Any contract between a boxer and a 
        promoter or manager shall--
                    ``(A) include mutual obligations between the 
                    ``(B) specify a minimum number of professional 
                boxing matches per year for the boxer; and
                    ``(C) set forth a specific period of time during 
                which the contract will be in effect, including any 
                provision for extension of that period due to the 
                boxer's temporary inability to compete because of an 
                injury or other cause.
            ``(2) 1-year limit on coercive promotional rights.--
                    ``(A) The period of time for which promotional 
                rights to promote a boxer may be granted under a 
                contract between the boxer and a promoter, or between 
                promoters with respect to a boxer, may not be greater 
                than 12 months in length if the boxer is required to 
                grant such rights, or a boxer's promoter is required to 
                grant such rights with respect to a boxer, as a 
                condition precedent to the boxer's participation in a 
                professional boxing match against another boxer who is 
                under contract to the promoter.
                    ``(B) A promoter exercising promotional rights with 
                respect to such boxer during the 12-month period 
                beginning on the day after the last day of the 
                promotional right period described in subparagraph (A) 
                may not secure exclusive promotional rights from the 
                boxer's opponents as a condition of participating in a 
                professional boxing match against the boxer during that 
                period, and any contract to the contrary--
                            ``(i) shall be considered to be in 
                        restraint of trade and contrary to public 
                        policy; and
                            ``(ii) unenforceable.
                    ``(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed 
                as pre-empting any State law concerning interference 
                with contracts.
            ``(3) Promotional rights under mandatory bout contracts.--
        Neither a promoter nor a sanctioning organization may require a 
        boxer, in a contract arising from a professional boxing match 
        that is a mandatory bout under the rules of the sanctioning 
        organization, to grant promotional rights to any promoter for a 
        future professional boxing match.
    ``(b) Employment As Condition of Promoting, Etc.--No person who is 
a licensee, manager, matchmaker, or promoter may require a boxer to 
employ, retain, or provide compensation to any individual or business 
enterprise (whether operating in corporate form or not) recommended or 
designated by that person as a condition of--
            ``(1) such person's working with the boxer as a licensee, 
        manager, matchmaker, or promoter;
            ``(2) such person's arranging for the boxer to participate 
        in a professional boxing match; or
            ``(3) such boxer's participation in a professional boxing 
    ``(c) Enforcement.--
            ``(1) Promotion agreement.--A provision in a contract 
        between a promoter and a boxer, or between promoters with 
        respect to a boxer, that violates subsection (a) is contrary to 
        public policy and unenforceable at law.
            ``(2) Employment agreement.--In any action brought against 
        a boxer to recover money (whether as damages or as money owed) 
        for acting as a licensee, manager, matchmaker, or promoter for 
        the boxer, the court, arbitrator, or administrative body before 
        which the action is brought may deny recovery in whole or in 
        part under the contract as contrary to public policy if the 
        employment, retention, or compensation that is the subject of 
        the action was obtained in violation of subsection (b).''.
    (b) Conflicts of Interest.--Section 9 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 6308) 
is amended by--
            (1) striking ``No member'' and inserting ``(a) Regulatory 
        Personnel.--No member''; and
            (2) adding at the end thereof the following:
    ``(b) Firewall Between Promoters and Managers.--
            ``(1) In general.--It is unlawful for--
                <DELETED>    ``(A) a promoter to have a direct or 
                indirect financial interest in the management of a 
                boxer; or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(B) a manager--</DELETED>
                    ``(A) a boxer's promoter (or a promoter who is 
                required to be licensed under State law) to have a 
                direct or indirect financial interest in that boxer's 
                licensed manager or management company; or
                    ``(B) a licensed manager or management company (or 
                a manager or management company that, under State law, 
                is required to be licensed)--
                            ``(i) to have a direct or indirect 
                        financial interest in the promotion of a boxer; 
                            ``(ii) to be employed by or receive 
                        compensation or other benefits from a promoter,
                except for amounts received as consideration under the 
                manager's contract with the boxer.
            ``(2) Exception for self-promotion and management.--
        Paragraph (1) does not prohibit a boxer from acting as his own 
        promoter or manager.''.


    (a) In General.--The Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 (15 
U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), as amended by section 4 of this Act, is amended 
            (1) redesignating section 16, as redesignated by section 4 
        of this Act, as section 17; and
            (2) by inserting after section 15 the following:


    ``(a) Objective Criteria.--A sanctioning organization that 
sanctions professional boxing matches on an interstate basis shall 
establish objective and consistent written criteria for the ratings of 
professional boxers.
    ``(b) Appeals Process.--A sanctioning organization shall establish 
and publish an appeals procedure that affords a boxer rated by that 
organization a reasonable opportunity, without the payment of any fee, 
to submit information to contest its rating of the boxer. Under the 
procedure, the sanctioning organization shall, within 14 days after 
receiving a request from a boxer questioning that organization's rating 
of the boxer--
            ``(1) provide to the boxer a written explanation of the 
        organization's criteria, its rating of the boxer, and the 
        rationale or basis for its rating (including any response to 
        any specific questions submitted by the boxer); and
            ``(2) submit a copy of its explanation to the President of 
        the Association of Boxing Commissions of the United States and 
        to the boxing commission of the boxer's domiciliary State.
    ``(c) Notification of Change in Rating.--If a sanctioning 
organization changes its rating of a boxer who is included, before the 
change, in the top 10 boxers rated by that organization, or who, as a 
result of the change is included in the top 10 boxers rated by that 
organization, then, within 14 days after changing the boxer's rating, 
the organization shall--
            ``(1) mail notice of the change and a written explanation 
        of the reasons for its change in that boxer's rating to the 
        boxer at the boxer's last known address;
            ``(2) post a copy, within the 14-day period, of the notice 
        and the explanation on its Internet website or homepage, if 
        any, for a period of not less than 30 days; and
            ``(3) mail a copy of the notice and the explanation to the 
        President of the Association of Boxing Commissions.
    ``(d) Public Disclosure.--
            ``(1) FTC filing.--Not later than January 31st of each 
        year, a sanctioning organization shall submit to the Federal 
        Trade Commission--
                    ``(A) a complete description of the organization's 
                ratings criteria, policies, and general sanctioning fee 
                    ``(B) the bylaws of the organization;
                    ``(C) the appeals procedure of the organization; 

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