The following statement is from Chicago Boxing promoter Bobby Hitz, in response to the controversy surrounding the Illinois Athletic Commission and the draw following the George vs. Lopez fight at UIC Pavilion on Friday, March 22
“On Friday, March 22, the Illinois Athletic Commission (IAC) embarrassed the Chicago boxing community during a nationally televised fight card which featured a match-up between Donovan George and David Alonso Lopez. While many understandably believe the IAC should suspend the judges, the real problem lies with the commission and its incompetent leadership. I call on Governor Quinn to reform the commission and replace its director, Nancy Illg, with someone who has the necessary experience to regulate boxing.
Ms. Illg continuously references the Illinois professional boxing act, but that document does not prepare or give her the instincts to trouble shoot the challenges that she has encountered as the commission’s director. Unlike most commissioners in this country, she has little to no experience in boxing. There are many qualified individuals with years of experience who understand both the sport and business of boxing who could run the commission in the professional manner that it currently lacks. She needs to be replaced with someone more competent.
While its not for me to say who won between George and Lopez, I will state that I have no confidence in the commission’s ability to effectively evaluate judges and carry out its responsibility to the fighters, fans, trainers, promoters and others it is supposed to serve and regulate. Additionally, I am concerned that the commission is depending on too small of a pool of officials because there are too many qualified and experienced officials whose services are not being utilized.
Friday night’s debacle affirms my previous decision to suspend promoting fights in Illinois until changes are made at the IAC. I salute those who launched, as well as signed, the petition to suspend the judges, but blaming the judges does not solve the problem. If boxing is going to be saved in Illinois, major reforms to the commission have to be made and Governor Quinn must act. I am disappointed that the promoters of the March 22 fight have yet to stand up for their fighters who definitely deserve better.”