SD Governor Signs Bill to Set Up Fight Commission

Kickboxer in Action


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a measure setting up a state athletic commission to regulate boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts.

Daugaard had originally opposed the bill because it would legitimize mixed martial arts fights, which he said are so violent they don’t deserve to be called sport. But aides to the governor later said he would appoint the commission if the Legislature passed the bill.

Supporters say the commission is needed to oversee boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts because unregulated professional matches often are conducted without proper rules, referees, testing and medical personnel.

The Legislature passed a similar law in 2009, but that expired last year because former Gov. Mike Rounds and Daugaard never appointed any commissioners.

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