Bernard Hopkins Protests Firing Of NJ Boxing Commissioner

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The following is off the AP Newswire:

Bernard Hopkins protests firing of NJ boxing commissioner

November 16, 2007

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins called on the boxing community to protest New Jersey boxing commissioner Larry Hazzard Sr.'s firing.

Hazzard was dismissed Wednesday by state Attorney General Anne Milgram after serving 21 years as commissioner of the Athletic Control Board, which oversees boxing and mixed martial arts contests.

Hopkins, who as president of Golden Boy East Promotions is overseeing Saturday's fight between World Boxing Organization super-featherweight champion Joan Guzman and challenger Humberto Soto in Atlantic City, said he was “shocked and appalled” by Milgram's decision.

“I am standing up to renounce this decision and I encourage all members of the boxing community — fighters, trainers, judges, promoters, commissioners, television networks, and the media — to join me in protesting this decision,” Hopkins said in an e-mail sent to the media Friday.

Hopkins said that Hazzard ran one of the most efficient and ethical boxing commissions. From a fighter's viewpoint, he championed safety and welfare of all boxers, Hopkins said.

“This might be a change that they needed, but it is certainly not a change that boxing needs,” Hopkins wrote. “We were just fine with Larry Hazzard as a leader in our sport.”

David Wald, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, said Friday night that the office wouldn't comment on Hopkins' statements.

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