An HIV positive Boxer has been allowed to fight in the state of Arkansas.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael has reported that the Arkansas State Athletic Commission allowed the HIV positive Boxer to fight on a November 11th event in Camden, Arkansas despite it being against the law.
The name of the boxer was not released due to privacy reasons, but the issue was brought up by ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) president Mike Mazzulli. He was aware of who the boxer was because he had been denied a license in the state of Florida because of an HIV positive test.
Mazulli told ESPN radio that he contacted the state health department and informed them of the issue and that he was told that all fighters would be tested before the fight. Seeing that the HIV positive Boxer was still allowed to fight, he assumes that fighters weren’t tested.
The lawyer for the Arkansas Department of Health told ESPN through e-mail “The Department asked for and acquired blood work prior to the fight for all fighters on the card that evening. All fighters provided test results that indicated all tested negative for HIV. The matter is under further investigation at this time.”
According to Mazzulli even if the fighter had tested negative he legally was not allowed to fight because of the HIV positive test in Florida. The result of that test placed him on the Fight Fax national suspension list and the suspension could only be removed by the state of Florida.
It is very scary to think that a state athletic commission would not follow the rules put in place to protect fighters and allow something like this to happen. It is also very worrying that a fighter would compete despite knowing he had tested positive for HIV.
The event was promoted by Richard Wright and took place at the Boys & Girls Club in Camden, Arkansas. It is not known if the Boxer that fought against the HIV positive Boxer was made aware of this before the fight or if he has been made aware of it now.
You can read the full article from ESPN here. What do you think should be the punishment for all involved parties in this situation?