Larry Hazzard, the long-time head of the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, was fired yesterday after close to 21 years on the job by state attorney general Anne Milgram.
The Philadelphia Daily News said that Hazzard declined to comment and that the only reason that Milgram gave for Hazzard’s release was that “It was time for a change.”
Former undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins was quite angered to hear that Hazzard was fired without proper reason:
“Nobody can tell me why Larry got fired,” Hopkins said. “Everybody told me that the attorney general said there was no comment. Just like that, there was a change. It’s just like changing quarterbacks. If you want to change [Donovan] McNabb, you have to have a reason. You just can’t change him.
Zack Arnold of Fight Opinion has a fantastic round-up of coverage on the event which reveals that Hazzard actually wrote a letter to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine concerning the possibility that some of the NJACB employees were jeopardizing the health of some fighters by being negligent during pre-fight testing.
Apparently state officials were irked by the letter and ended up deciding to let Hazzard go.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger has a quote from Hazzard’s lawyer that might make this whole thing an even bigger deal.
Touch of gloves to Zack for this one:
Among the concerns, Binns wrote, were the employee’s decisions to sanction mismatches in mixed martial arts contests, to okay a fighter who failed to test negative for HIV and to allow promoters to “shop” for medical approvals for their fighters.
Bad news for the state of New Jersey if the allegations are true.