Knuxx Interview With New Mexico State Athletic Commissioner Thomas King

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Knuxx’s own Genieve Sanchez recently interviewed New Mexico State Athletic Commissioner Thomas King regarding a very hot topic – Smokers. In case you don’t know what a Smoker is, it is a non-sanctioned amateur event thrown by local gyms. The problem is that the NMSAC believes they they to be regulated. Check out the interview below.

Interview by Genieve Sanchez

GS: So what’s happening, what’s going on, what decisions have been made?

TK: What the deal is, is um, way way back when the state decided to pass some laws that would regulate all unarmed combat sports in New Mexico, that’s Boxing professional, Kickboxing amateur and professional, professional and amateur MMA, but what actually falls underneath that as well is smokers because it is unarmed combat even though there’s no licenses involved but it’s still something state statute tells the New Mexico Athletic commission that they have to regulate. We been kind of staying away from it, trying to figure out the best way to do it get into a flow things like that, but a lot of people started to complain actually that we’re not regulating it, saying it’s unfair and it probably is.

 GS: Regulating it in what sense?

TK: Well as far as you know like am amateur MMA event, there’s you, know there’s licenses, there’s fees, there’s judges , there’s time keepers the whole bit and smokers are run totally in house and so there’s cost involved. And there was a specific show where a guy had a sanctioned bout and the smoker took a lot of his revenue away. But that being said it’s something we’re supposed to do anyway. So it’s just time to start doing it. But what I really need is to do it right and I want to do it right the first time. So what I’m trying to do is get the unarmed combat community together to kind of sit down and just figure out the best way of making that happen and where I’m at with it at the moment is, I really think that if you start putting money into it or requiring fees or licenses or anything like that.

GS: Who are the fees and licenses for or towards?

TK: Well traditionally there are four corner-men for boxers, for the fighters, things like that you know timekeeper, judges, officials, the whole bit. But I think if we start requiring that kind of stuff during smokers they’ll kind of ruin the sport. Because that’s not the idea of a smoker.

Battlegrounds Smoker at FIT NHB

GS: Yeah that’s sort away the idea from the smoker.

TK: A smoker is really designed to give someone enough experience that they can get an amateur fighting license, you know if you get enough amateur fights then you a professional license.

 GS: It’s a feeder system essentially?

TK: Yeah it’s just a feeder system where you can get some experience.

GS: Are you concerned the more it’s regulated and the more rules are pressing on it that it loses, is that what you’re trying to avoid?

TK: Yeah I do. I do want to avoid that I would like to find a way to regulate it without there being fees or without charging, no money involved basically. That’s the goal. There’s been a couple people that think it’s unavoidable, I don’t think it’s unavoidable, I think if enough smart people get in one room we could figure out a way to do this without charging.

GS: What’s the time line?

TK: We’re moving on it, I mean I’m gonna move slow because I want to do things deliberately and with thought and I don’t want to have to backtrack and do a lot of “oops we should have instead…”

GS: So in terms of time are you going to receive some feedback for a few months make a decision or is this within the year you would like a decision to be made?

TK: Definitely not within the year, I mean the year is almost over I don’t think three months is enough time.

GS: I mean a year from now?

TK: Oh your talking twelve months, definitely. It will be in place within twelve months. Like I said I’d like to have several meetings with the smart people in the room that have done smokers been in smokers, understand it.

GS: Would this be something you coordinate?

TK: Yeah I’ll coordinate it.

GS: And you would reach out to existing people who put on smokers currently?

TK: I’m going to reach out to the whole unarmed combat community and anyone else who wants to join in.

GS: And give feedback and it’s going to be merely feedback not voting, but feedback.

TK: Yeah it’s going to be feedback.

GS: And then the voting will that come within the

TK: There won’t be voting.

GS:Basically your decision

TK: I’m just going to have to. It’s Okay. I’m going to have to take all the advice I can get and get with some people I trust and make a decision on how it’s going to roll.

GS: Say one of Jackson’s fights or any fight the one in Santa Fe or you know anything going on?

TK: We take up to four present of the gate.If there’s TV, The state takes that. If there’s TV, you know there’s fees for that, there promoters license, there’s corner license, trainers license. There’s all these fees that would just ruin a smoker. There’s no money in a smoker.

 GS: So if there is no money why is this coming up that it needs to be regulated and have these fees and have?

TK: Some people think there has to be fees associated with it. I think we could find a way to not have fees. It’s being regulated because the statutes changed, there was a incident and because of it statutes changed and they want everything regulated. And it’s been on the books for a while and it’s time to get around to it, figuring it out basically.

GS: The ultimate goal is to regulate it somehow but not add fees to where it loses it’s purpose.

TK: Right, it has to be regulated, that time has come. Just the law makers.

GS: Yeah it makes sense too, it’s almost dangerous not to have anybody regulate it.

TK: Some people are taking advantage of it.

GS: Right now you’re not required to be at them?

TK: We are required to, to regulate it. We’re just not. It’s just not happening. I would like to see, I don’t think we need to get involved as far as, ref and judges and all that stuff.

GS: Keep that in house?

TK: Yeah I think keep that in house I think more have a representative from the commission there just to oversee it.

GS: Oversee the process and make sure everything is in line?

TK: Yeah cause I honestly when everyone knows someone is there overseeing people are more responsible. I don’t think fees need to be associated with that.We don’t want to take the money from the door as people have suggested because that money is for the gym.

Thomas King,
New Mexico State Athletic Commissioner

P.o. Box 25101
2550 Cerillos Rd 2nd Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87505

So there you have it, now we turn to you, the Knuxx readers. We want to know what you think about the NMSAC regulating smokers. Knuxx and the New Mexico State Athletic Commission want to hear from YOU.

Comment, write in to us, get on the Knuxx Forum and let your opion be known and your voice be heard!