Update: Virginia Commission Says Shine Didn’t Provide Payroll Bond, Other Docs for Licensure

By Loretta Hunt Sep 7, 2010
The Virginia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Program’s decision not to issue Shine Fights a promoter’s license last Friday was based on the promotion’s inability to provide mandatory documents, including evidence of a surety bond to cover fighters’ purses, said Mary Broz-Vaughan, director of communications for the Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

A Shine Fights event originally scheduled for this Friday at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., was relocated to the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Okla., over the weekend.

The event, which plans to host an eight-man, one-night tournament, will be held on sovereign land outside of the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission’s jurisdiction. OSAC Executive Director Joe Miller told Sherdog.com on Tuesday that Shine had inquired about a promoter's license to hold its Sept. 10 event in the state approximately three weeks ago. Miller said he presented a proposal for Shine's tournament-style event to the commission at a hearing on Sept. 1, but the board unanimously turned the format down.

The First Council Casino does not have its own commission body to regulate combat sports events, said a representative on Tuesday. Details of any requirements Shine will have to complete with the casino to hold the show were not readily available.

In Virginia, Broz-Vaughan said the regulatory body worked diligently with the Florida-based promotion up until last Thursday to approve its licensure, even allotting the promotion an extension past the 30-day deadline organizations have to hand in all necessary documentation.

Shine was either late or unable to provide complete medical records and test results, as well as fighters’ professional records, said Broz-Vaughan.

“We were begging for information from them on Tuesday,” said Broz-Vaughan. “We just can’t put on an event without the required documents.”

Broz-Vaughan said the promotion also failed to provide evidence that it had procured a surety bond, a requirement of the state to ensure the fighters’ purses, the payment of officials and the minimum gate fee tax is covered prior to the event.

On Monday, Shine Fights CEO Devin Price accused the Virginia regulatory body of questionable practices, allegedly after the promotion’s mired attempt at an event in North Carolina last May was brought to Virginia’s attention.

“The Virginia commission was understandably concerned, but instead of allowing us to prove the concerns were unfounded, they refused to provide a license,” said Price in the press release.

In May, the North Carolina Boxing Authority cancelled Shine Fights 3 “Worlds Collide” only minutes before the event was scheduled to take place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. That same day, promoter Don King had successfully been granted an injunction by a Florida court that prevented Shine headliner Ricardo Mayorga, who was exclusively contracted to King for boxing, from competing in his MMA debut bout against Din Thomas.

The NCBA later told multiple media outlets that it halted the event after Shine had failed to secure both a cageside physician and a pre-requisite bond needed to cover the fighters’ payroll.

On Tuesday, the NCBA’s Terrance Mayweather told Sherdog.com that Shine Fights had recently fulfilled its financial obligations with the regulatory body. However, an Aug. 27 report from The Fayetteville Observer said the Crown Coliseum was still attempting to recoup around $42,000 from the promotion to cover staffing costs associated with the failed event.

Additionally, multiple fighters contracted to compete on May 15 claim they haven’t received compensation they feel entitled to, contractually or otherwise, for showing up prepared to fight at the event.

Broz-Vaughan said that although the Virginia commission was aware of the occurrences in North Carolina, the allegations didn’t constitute the body’s decision to deny licensure.

“Our bonding requirement would have allayed these concerns, but (Shine) didn’t provide evidence that they’d acquired one,” said Broz-Vaughan. “Allegations alone are not sufficient grounds for denial.”

Of concern for the Virginia regulatory body was a one-page rules sheet submitted by the promotion for its proposed eight-man, one-night tournament, said Broz-Vaughan.

“We looked to see if there was a way we could make it work, though we don’t take kindly to that type of event in the state,” said Broz-Vaughan. “There just wasn’t enough level of detail in (Shine’s proposed rules) that we were comfortable with.”

Broz-Vaughan said she was unaware of rumors that the regulatory body denied licensure because the promotion had allowed fans to vote and decide on the tournament’s quarterfinal matchups.

Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers did not initially return calls or texts for comment.

This article was updated at 1:15 p.m. EST to include new information from Oklahoma State Athletic Commission Executive Director Joe Miller.
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