We may finally get boxing back in New York.
After several promoters canceled cards due to new insurance regulations, United States Fire Insurance co. will be offering a policy in time for January’s Badou Jack vs. James DeGale bout at Barclays Center. Why is this a big deal? Dan Rafael explains:
When the law legalizing MMA in New York went into effect, it raised the minimum coverage for a boxing card from $10,000 to $50,000 for general medical coverage per fighter on the card, a change most promoters had no issue with and one that conforms to the norm in many other states. But the law also required a new and unprecedented $1 million minimum requirement for each fighter in the event the fighter suffers a life-threatening brain injury, a very rare occurrence.
It was difficult to get even one insurance company to enter the market to offer the policy that United States Fire Insurance Co. is about to roll out. Even when the policy becomes available, it is still likely to dramatically reduce the number of boxing cards in New York because of the cost.
A source with direct knowledge of the pricing being discussed for the policy told ESPN that a 10-bout card in New York would likely cost "in excess of $16,000 but possibly substantially more" to meet the minimum standards of the new law.
In short, we haven’t had any cards in New York since August because it was literally impossible to comply with the new regulations, as no company offered any policies that met the standards. This new policy makes boxing effectively legal again in the state, but at an exorbitant price.
Even with this temporary fix, the future looks grim for any but the largest shows in New York. As devastating as the injuries to Magomed Abdusalamov, Prichard Colon, Nick Blackwell, and Eduard Gutknecht were, pricing the sport out of existence is not the solution.