Hopkins: A Letter To The Boxing Community
16.11.07 - by Bernard Hopkins: I am shocked and appalled at the decision by the New Jersey States Attorney General Anne Milgram and her office to dismiss Larry Hazzard from his services as longstanding head of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission. I am standing up to renounce this decision and I encourage all members of the boxing community—fighters, trainers, judges, promoters, commissioners, television networks, and the media—to join me in protesting this decision..
Article posted on 16.11.2007
What's most disturbing is that they not only did they do this the same day he buried his 41-year old nephew, but they also admitted that "Commissioner Hazzard did nothing wrong. It was just time for a change." (Atlantic City Press, Nov. 16.) This might be a change that they needed but it is certainly not a change that boxing needs. We were just fine with Larry Hazzard as a leader in our sport.
Larry Hazzard for the past 22 years has run one of, if not the most, efficient and ethical Commissions in boxing. From a fighter's viewpoint, he championed safety and welfare for all of us, whether we were champions or just four-round fighter. He was always looking to improve the sport and never feared speaking his mind for the greater good of boxing.
The bigger question here, and as far as I know, Ms. Milgram did not consult anyone within the boxing community to get opinions to base her decision on. Boxing is a difficult sport anyway and how are they going to be able to replace Larry Hazzard with someone who is as competent as he is? I have to use the old saying here, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Please join me in expressing your outrage by contacting the State's Attorney General's office. You can write to 25 Market Street, Trenton, NJ, 08625-0080 or call 609-292-4925 or send an email to http://www.nj.gov/oag/offices.htm .
Light Heavyweight Champion of the World
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