Florida finds no wrong-doing on EliteXC’s part in “standgate”

The Florida State Boxing Commission has completed its investigation of ProElite and EliteXC in regard to public complaint stemming from the promotion’s final card earlier this month at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Alexis Antonacci, Press Secretary for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, responded to a request by FiveOuncesOfPain.com with a statement from the Florida commission that the investigation did not find any wrongdoing on the part of ProElite and EliteXC on the night of the promotion’s “Heat” event on Oct. 4.

The card, which featured Seth Petruzelli defeating Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson via TKO at 14 seconds of round 1, was covered in a shroud of controversy. The controversy surrounding the event stemmed from Ken Shamrock’s inability to challenge Ferguson as had been advertised due to medical disqualification, as well as comments made the following Monday by Petruzelli on 1041. FM in Orlando that insinuated he may have received financial incentive to avoid taking the fight vs. Ferguson to the ground.

“Executive Director Thomas Molloy heard a rumor in the field that Seth Petruzelli was approached by ProElite, LLC and was asked to fight ‘standing up’ against Kevin Ferguson to give Mr. Ferguson an advantage in the match,” the statement began.

“Mr. Molloy began a preliminary inquiry into the rumored allegation on October 8, 2008.

“Mr. Molloy contacted Mr. Petruzelli by phone and asked him if the promoter had requested that he stand up and fight as opposed to going to the ground where Mr. Petruzelli might have the advantage. Mr. Petruzelli stated that no one said anything to him about how to fight except ‘Just do your best.’ Mr. Petruzelli stated that a talk radio show misconstrued his comments, and that is where the allegations began.

“After the interview with Mr. Petruzelli, Mr. Molloy reviewed the promoter/participant contract and noted there was nothing written in the contract to indicate Mr. Petruzelli would be compensated by fighting in a certain manner. The contract read ’35,000.00 to fight’ and ‘$15,000.00 to win.’

In addition to speaking with Petruzelli, the statement indicates that Tank Abbott, Slice’s opponent on Feb. 16 during the promotion’s “Street Certified” event, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer, and California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Armando Garcia were all interviewed as a part of the investigation as well. The statement quotes Abbott as saying that he was not asked by ProElite or EliteXC officials to fight in a certain manner while Kizer and Garcia are both quoted as saying they never experienced any promotional problems while dealing with ProElite in the past.

The statement concluded that, “After Mr. Molloy’s preliminary inquiry including the above information, it was found that there is no reason to believe that the rumored allegation was true.”

The fact that a ruling was made this week came as a surprise to FiveOuncesOfPain.com, as we were informed by a source speaking on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday that there were rumblings that Florida’s investigation into ProElite and EliteXC could become a federal case and that the FBI was looking into taking over the investigation.

9 COMMENTS
  • Stan the Caddy says:

    No mention from them about the thai kicks not being allowed or T. Jay Thompson’s comments. This story is far from done, imho.

    Stan, I agree that this situation isn’t done. However, the statement we received mentioned nothing about the Thai kicks, which, by the way, we were the first to reveal earlier this week after we were first notified about it last week. In regard to T. Jay Thompson’s comments, make sure you read my CBSSports.com article this weekend :)

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  • woooburn says:

    didnt they essentially state after the fight, that they didn’t think an investigation was even warranted? and thus only decided to go through with it because of public pressure? doesn’t surprise me that they wouldn’t “uncover” anything.

    also, the idea of tank abbott posing a submission threat to kimbo, and having to be cautioned against it, is hilarious to me. if only they’d let him go for that gogoplata!

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  • ACK! says:

    This was nothing more than a witch hunt and, regardless of the outcome, the damage has been done. Apparently us fans and bloggers got what we wanted…

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  • Pete says:

    Standgate wow that is so witty.

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  • Joseph says:

    Yeah, it is a shame that bloggers and media blew this up so bad, that EliteXC couldn’t even be bought by CBS/Showtime.

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  • Goomba says:

    Isn’t it obvious that Seth, JT, or Abbot wouldn’t admit to being paid off to lose? They don’t want to be brought down and punished too.

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  • Max says:

    So rather than trust the word of multiple professional fighters and directors of the NSAC you would believe that EliteXC were illegally paying fighters in an attempt to increase the hype for a particular fighter? I knew people didn’t like Kimbo but…

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  • Stan the Caddy says:

    “So rather than trust the word of multiple professional fighters and directors of the NSAC you would believe that EliteXC were illegally paying fighters in an attempt to increase the hype for a particular fighter?”

    Yes, that is exactly correct, especially since one of Pro Elites directors said that is what they were doing. There aren’t too many people in the sport of MMA with a reputation like the one T. Jay Thompson holds so when he says that they were doing some shady shit, they were doing some shady shit. Also, here’s an interesting quote from Keith Kizer:

    “Kizer said that about two weeks ago, he had a conversation with someone from ProElite whom he did not name. As later recalled in comments to MMAWeekly, Kizer recounted, “Someone affiliated with ProElite told me that the fighter (Kimbo) or his camp said that he had not been training to fight a Muay Thai specialist and thus he had not trained to defend Muay Thai-style kicks, so that he would agree to fight the proposed opponent if the opponent agreed not to use any such kicks, and that information was told to that opponent.”

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  • KMac says:

    The only thing that even hinted at a problem is that depite a knockout of the night bonus, there was no submission of the night bonus,

    It was financially benificial for a fighter to not go to the ground.

    That being said, if EliteXC really wanted to protect Kimbo, they never would have gone thru with the last minute replacement. 2 weeks before a fight is one thing, 4 hours before is insane.

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