In the News . . .

Changes Could be on the way for Amateur Boxing Regulations
Tue, 21 Feb 2012

TULSA - It's been five months since a former Tulsa University football player died after participating in an unsanctioned boxing match. Now changes could be on the way for regulating such events.

On Sept. 21 of last year, 24-year-old George Clinkscale stepped into the boxing ring. It would be his last match. After the fight, Clinkscale was transported to the hospital, where he later died.

"It truly is by the grace of God that we're able to make it. It's a fighting battle every single day," said George's fiancee Courtney Clinkscale.

George left behind his fiancee, Courtney, and two young daughters. His family is in the middle of a lawsuit, suing GUTS Church for negligence. The boxing event was not sanctioned.

"I can't put a band-aid on my children, and say, 'this will make it feel better,' and I can't take any medicine that makes the pain go away. I have to live with the day in and day out, and so do our families," Courtney said.

The medical examiner determined the former TU football player died due to complications from sickle cell trait. But the circumstances of his death, caused lawmakers to take action.

"This law will change the life of individuals. Even if it's just for one family. To me, it's well worth it," Courtney said.

House bill 2746 would close a legal loophole. The bill would modify the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission Act, requiring sanctioning permits for amateur boxing and mixed martial arts events.

"It will help define what is an illegal event, and it'll give law enforcement an added tool in their dealings with these type of events," said state representative Dan Kirby.

The bill would allow district attorneys to take action in court and stop illegal matches. It would also require ring-side doctors.

"What we want to see is pre-site, post-site exams. Maybe EMSA at the site. We want to make sure that there's no death in the future, with the type of illegal boxing events," Rep. Kirby said.

Courtney says it does her heart well, knowing the bill was written in George's honor.

"I'm praying and I'm confident that everything will work out. And that another family will not experience what we've had to experience," Courtney said.

Violations of the act would carry a sentence of up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The bill goes to the house floor next week.

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