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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 23, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 21Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

BYU Students Start Controversial 'Fight Club'
Salt Lake Tribune 19Apr00 D4
By Mark Eddington: Salt Lake Tribune

PROVO, UTAH -- The popularity of an unregulated amateur boxing club in Provo started by a group of BYU and UVSC students has BYU administrators and local police worried. The group stages boxing events before crowds of 300 or more fans at secret venues all over Utah county, Utah.

The fights are organized by a group of seven BYU students, who have chosen to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, and 2 UVSC students, James Anderson and Aaron Christopher. The organizers think the bouts have been a smashing success over the six weeks since they staged the first bout.

BYU officials expressed concern over the safety of students participating in the events, however. "We discourage students from becoming involved in any high-risk activity for safety reasons," said BYU spokeswoman Carrie Jenkins, who also says that administrators are looking into the Provo Fight Club, as the group calls their activities. But Jenkins admits that the events are not against BYU's honor code and says no disciplinary action is being contemplated against the organizers. All but one of the students have served missions for the LDS Church. "I don't think they really know what to do about Fight Club," said one of the organizers, a BYU student who uses the name "Mad Dog." "The university and police are winging it just like we are."

The group holds bouts weekly, and until recently publicized the events through its web site, at http://www.provofightclu However, because of the growing crowds and police attention, the group only publicizes the fights by word of mouth within the few hours before the normal 10 p.m. fight time.

While the group doesn't know much about boxing, they have adopted a few rules and procedures. Fighters must use mouth guards and big, 16oz gloves. They fight just 3 45-second rounds in a ring, where they are supervised by a referee, who is supposed to keep the pugulists from low blows and other illegal punches. However, the organizers admit they don't know what those punches may be, "We don't know anything about boxing," says Anderson.

But, he adds that the group plans to have volunteer paramedics and bouncers at future events, just in case.


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