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 b.homepage.com. 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.