FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 1981 — NEWS RECORD
State Senate flexing muscles in Toughman’ contest fight
By CHET CZARNIAK Gannett News Service
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate wants to get tough with those so-called “toughman” contests. The Judiciary Committee Tuesday unanimously recommended passage by the full Senate of a bill to outlaw the contests that have been described by critics as little more than organized street fights that combine boxing, wrestling and any other skills. Action by the full Senate could come as early as next week. The legislation is the brainchild of Sen. Mark Singel, D-Johnstown, who proposed it after a 23-year-old man, Ron Miller, died of massive brain hemorrhage after a “toughman” contest in Johnstown earlier this year. Miller, who experienced stomach tins and double vision between hi “desperate for money.” He was an unemployed construction worker. The contest he was involved in offered a $1,000 first prize. “The pattern to the participants in such contest is that many are unemployed, down on their Juck and easy prey for what promoters dangle before them as easy money,” Singel told the Judiciary Committee. “It is no coincidence that contests are staged toÂ«reaÂ»of high unemployment and economic decline. The sickening fact is that promoters are taking advantage of despair and desperation, “he said. The Pennsylvania Athletic Commission supports Singel’s bill because it has no legal way to regulate the contests, which do not come under its jurisdiction. Commission officials oppose the “toughman” bouts, which have be- Jar in recent In an advertisement from one contest promoted in Ohio, Singel noted that contestants could not have professional boxing experience and only a limited number of wins as an amateur in a sanctioned bout. If the proposal becomes law, Pennsylvania could be a pioneer in the anti-toughman effort. Although similar legislation is pending in several states, none has passed such a law Under Singel’s bill anyone who promotes, sponsors or participates in a “toughman” contest could be charged with a misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $15,000 and a 5-year jail term. His original proposal called for tougher penalties, with fines up to $25,000. But committee chairman George Gekas, R-Dauphin, suggested that would be out of line with current sen- was described by Singel as being ments and no weight classifications, was approved. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/41614958/
After a year long feud between CV (Calguri & Viola) Productions and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission (PSAC) over mixed martial arts, many believe their was a conspiracy to outlaw MMA. Interestingly enough, Ronald Miller was killed in a boxing only Toughman contest. Tough Guy competitions (mixed martial arts) , created by CV Productions were prosecuted.
Q: What was the legal definition of “Tough Guy” competitions
A: According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1981, CV Productions service marks: “Tough Guy” & “Battle of Brawlers” events were legally defined as:
“ANY COMPETITION WHICH INVOLVES ANY PHYSICAL CONTACT BOUT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE INDIVIDUALS, WHO ATTEMPT TO KNOCK OUT THEIR OPPONENT BY EMPLOYING BOXING, WRESTLING, MARTIAL ARTS TACTICS OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF AND BY USING TECHNIQUES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PUNCHES, KICKS AND CHOKING.”
The above described “Tough Guy” competitions were the first sanctioned commercial mixed martial arts competitions in America, long before the term MMA was popular.
Session Of 1983 Act 1983-62
No. 1983-62 AKA “The Tough Guy Law”
The First MMA Mixed Martial Arts Law In History!