Bill to Regulate Kickboxing Moving Closer to Assembly Vote
State law regulates martial arts and boxing, but not kickboxing.
State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) said, "Sometimes when you're passing legislation regulating a new sport, they don't include or have the foresight for all the potential implications and this was just more a simple oversight than intentional."
Brostoff is a co-sponsor of a bill working through Madison which would set clear guidelines for kickboxing matches. The bill was introduced by Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc).
Brostoff said, "This was of course sparked by a tragedy suffered by the Munson family about a year ago."
In a statement, Kleefisch said Tuesday, “Today is truly a win for Dennis Munson Jr. and his family. The circumstances surrounding his death are beyond heartbreaking. This legislation will put in place important, common sense protocols that I hope will prevent future tragedies in the ring.”
Dennis Munson died in March of 2014 after a kickboxing match. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office said he died because of blunt force head injuries from a combat sport.
Munson’s family blames loose regulation along with negligence of people involved.
Brandy Gee, Munson’s sister, said, "I support everything that has to do with regulating kickboxing. But I also am going to continue on to make sure that those who need to be held accountable are held accountable."
Duke Roufus runs Roufusport gym in Milwaukee. That’s the gym where Munson trained, and the gym that promoted the fight. Roufus says he's been pushing for kickboxing regulation for years, and says he supports the bill.
"I’m hoping the more legitimacy we add to our sport we can attract new talent and new people to the sport." Roufus said.
Brostoff says he's unsure if the regulations outlined in the bill would've prevented Munson’s death, but says they will make the sport safer in Wisconsin. The bill is expected to move to the Assembly floor when lawmakers return next year.