House Member Wants Toughman Competition Banned in Arkansas - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Texarkana, AR

House Member Wants Toughman Competition Banned in Arkansas

TEXARKANA, AR - A leader in the Arkansas House wants to ban amateur boxing competitions like the traveling Toughman Contest, after the death of a 23-year-old who took part in an event in Texarkana.

Rep. Steve Harrelson, a Texarkana Democrat, says he will look at a ban similar to one passed in Texas in 2005.  Texas outlaws elimination fighting tournaments, which state officials said often pitted skilled fighters against amateurs with little or no training and provided them with insufficient medical or physician checkups.

Harrellson told Texarkana radio station KTXK that he was not surprised by the ring fatality and that he has wondered how the fights have remained legal.

Harrelson said he is considering introducing a bill in the 2009 regular session to ban the competitions.  He said he's heard from numerous constituents about concerns with the fights.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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