USA: Massachusetts Laws

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History of Massachusetts Boxing Legislation, Rules & Regulations

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(Enter material chronologically)

  • 1876: Supreme Judicial Court announces its intention to maintain a lawful and ordered society by ruling that “prizefighting, boxing matches, and encounters of that kind serve no useful purpose, tend to breaches of the peace, and are unlawful even when entered into by agreement and without anger or ill will.”
  • 1907-11-16: Boston (and New York City) clubs decide to bar "colored" boxers. [1]
  • 1920-June: Gov. Coolidge signs bill legalizing ten-round bouts.
  • 1920-09-09: Boston legalizes boxing when Mayor Peters and the City Council give their approval.
  • 1920-10-30: Boxing legalized in the state after 25 years. Ten-rounders set as the limit. Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, WA, USA). See also, Evening Herald (Klamath Falls, Oregon): [2]
  • 1921-01-10: The Massachusetts Boxing Commission issues a ruling prohibiting the wearing of the United States flag by boxers, at the request of the American Legion. The Commission also requested that boxers refrain from making religious signs in the ring.
  • 1931-April: Draws were not permitted at this time. April 29 Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA, USA)
  • 1931-06-10: Governor Joseph B. Ely signs a bill, effective in 90 days, legalizing 15-round title bouts. The bill also allows for 12-round New England championship contests. (Bouts had been limited to 10 rounds for the past 11 years, since boxing was placed under the control of the Massachusetts Boxing Commission.) Other changes provided for in the bill include: public announcement of the referees' and judges' votes on each bout; authorizing the Boxing Commission to rule on the weight of gloves used by boxers in amateur tournaments; limiting the number of bouts such boxers may fight within 24 hours; and closing such amateur tournaments at 12:30 A. M. New York Times
  • 1935-11-19: Massachusetts Boxing Commission suspends Unknown Winston one year "for not giving efforts" with Jack Sharkey. Bellingham Evening News (Bellingham, WA, USA)
  • 1937: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) drops boxing from its college sports program because too many men were losing by technical knockout and the team hadn't won a meet in several seasons. Because of heavy scholastic schedules, the boxers were not able to train adequately and the school was afraid that a serious injury might occur. April 12, 1941 New York Times