Province mulls creation of prize-fighting commission
Body would regulate a number of combat sports and events
The provincial government may get into the fighting ring as officials consider the pros and cons of establishing a combative sports commission.
The body would regulate a number of fighting sports and allow for more professional-level events in Saskatchewan.
Dennis Page, a Saskatoon trainer and former boxer, is keen to see organized mixed martial arts events in the city.
However, without a sanctioning body, prize events are out of bounds. Page said that puts limits on the sport.
"There are a lot of athletes in Saskatchewan," Page told CBC News Thursday. "A lot of boxers, martial arts practitioners and those guys, they can't practice their craft and that's very unfortunate."
Provincial officials are looking at a commission that would regulate and govern professional fights, including mixed martial arts, wresting, kick boxing and judo.
"We feel the safety of athletes is a number one priority in Saskatchewan," Melanie Bauman, a policy analyst with the provincial ministry that handles sports and recreation, said. "It's important to have high caliber regulations and standards for such events."
Currently in Canada there are four provinces and 10 municipalities that have combative sports commissions.
The province is considering if Saskatchewan should have one provincial commission or allow for municipal commissions.
Page, who is working with a number of businesses and individuals keen on the fighting sports, says he prefers a city run commission.
Saskatoon, however, has rejected the notion raising concerns about liability.
Provincial officials said their examination of the issue is ongoing.
With files from CBC's Steve Pasqualotto