USA: Illinois Laws

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History of Illinois Boxing Legislation, Rules & Regulations

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(Enter material chronologically)

  • 1900-12-13: Joe Gans reportedly "takes a dive" in his bout with Terry McGovern, prompting the state to outlaw boxing for the next 26 years, although private and bootleg matches would be held in the interim.
  • 1910-12-26: Chicago Mayor Busse prohibits boxing in the city. It hasn't been allowed there in years. Tacoma Times wire report. [1]
  • 1911-03-16: Senator Carroll introduces bill to legalize prizefighting, with a six-round maximum, no decisions, and no prizes or purses to be awarded to the contestants. [2]
  • 1913-02-12: At Springfield, Governor Dunne endorses a bill to legalize boxing. It would create a state athletic commission and permit 10-round bouts. Chicago Mayor Harrison disapproves. [3]
  • 1915-05-06: At Springfield, world champions Jimmy Barry and Johnny Coulon, Packey McFarland and other well-known boxers put on a number of exhibition bouts in support of Senator Carroll's bill to legalize ten-round bouts. San Francisco Call [4]
  • 1915-05-25: Senator Wood of Jefferson County is responsible for defeat, by five votes, of a bill to permit 10-round no-decision bouts. Seattle Star [5]; Jan. 18, 1917 Tacoma Times [6][7]
  • 1917-01-18: Another boxing bill is headed through the legislature. Tacoma Times [8]
  • 1917-05-19: State Assembly passes a bill legalizing boxing (but ultimately not enacted).
  • 1923-02-15: Chicago Police Chief Fitzsimmons orders boxing stopped, because it is prohibited by state law. It has been conducted in "remote sections" of the city in secret. Los Angeles Times. (On March 7 Kid Howard obtains a court injunction prohibiting Chicago Police with interfering with boxing contests at his gym.)
  • 1925-07-13: An Act is filed, legalizing boxing after almost 26 years.
  • 1926-05-05: The Illinois Athletic Commission is organized, pursuant to the July 1925 Act. John C. Righeimer and Paul Prehn are announced as the Commissioners.
  • 1926-07-03: The first legal bouts since 1900 are held at Comiskey/White Sox Baseball Park, Chicago. Sammy Mandell wins the World Lightweight Title from Rocky Kansas.
  • 1929-09-04: The Chicago Boxing Commission now requires that knockout victims to be taken from the ring by stretchers--not flung over the shoulders of a second and carried through the crowd. Two stretchers are now required for each show. Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, WA, USA) wire report
  • 1932-02-23: Governor Emmerson signs Graham Bill into law, legalizing 15-round title bouts.