State office now in charge of ranking boxers, declaring champions

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2012 - 8:22 AM

A state office has established a ranking system for boxing that includes declaring champions in 14 weight classes.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's Office of Combative Sports will determine title holders and rankings to cover all boxers in the state from junior bantam weight (113 to 115 pounds) to heavyweight (more than 201 pounds), officials announced Tuesday.

The DLI was directed by the Legislature to succeed the state-appointed Combative Sports Commission as of July 1. The Office of Combative Sports will also regulate mixed martial arts events.

"Naming champions and rating fighters will give fans more information about future bouts and will generate more interest in the sport," said Ken Peterson, Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) commissioner. "Most important, rankings will assist the Office of Combative Sports in determining whether matches between fighters are appropriate."

Rankings will be compiled monthly by an advisory group to the DLI headed by boxing experts Jake Wegner and Jesse Kelley. Wegner is the founder and president of the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame. Kelley oversees www.minnesotaboxing.com.

October's rankings have been determined, with championships in all weight classes vacant except for middleweight (155 to 160 pounds). In that weight class, Caleb Truax, of St. Paul, is the champ, after knocking out Mickey Scarborough last month in the first round. Truax has 12 months to defend his state title.

The Office of Combative Sports will not market or promote bouts or the boxers. For the rankings and other information, visit www.mncombativesports.com.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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