Protecting Professional Boxers: Federal Regulations with More Punch
*M.D. University of Texas Medical Branch; Residency, Neurological Surgery Parkland
Memorial Hospital; Diplomate, American Board of Neurological Surgery; J.D.
University of Houston Law Center.
The sport of boxing dates back more than 5000 years and was practiced by the ancient
Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.1 In the United States, the sport became popular in the late
1800’s.2 The key participants in the sport include the boxer, the trainer, the manager, the
promoter, and the sanctioning organizations.3 Boxing is considered by many to be a brutal sport
and unfortunately, acute and chronic brain injuries are the most common injuries sustained by
boxers.4 The sport has long been regulated by state commissions and only in the last fifty years
has the federal government begun to intervene.5 Eleven years ago the first federal statute
regulating boxing in the United States was passed.6 This statute was amended four years later7
and although federal regulation has brought some improvement to the overall picture, many
reforms are yet necessary.