In This Corner: An Analysis of Federal Boxing Legislation

Ehrlichman, Brad

Muhammad Ali—arguably the greatest boxer of all time—lay beaten in a hospital bed. Defeated by his former sparring partner, Larry Holmes, Ali was battered and prone: King Arthur run through by Mordred. An aide to Don King, Ali's long-time promoter, stole into the room with a briefcase. At the time, King owed Ali over $1 million. Inside the briefcase was $50,000 in cash, which Ali— defeated—accepted after signing a release dropping all claims against King. While the Senate's version of what was to ultimately become the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act ("Ali Act"), referenced only Ali's "unsurpassed" "career achievements and personal contributions to the sport [of boxing]," it is likely that this shameful episode was present in legislators' minds when honoring their bill's revered—yet tragic—eponym.


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Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

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July 2, 2012