Boxing in New York state was suspended indefintely tonight by the State Athletic Commission, pending the implementation of new safety procedures.
The commission action came several hours after a State Senate committee investigating the death of middleweight Willie Classen called for the suspension of boxing until a six-point plan proposed by the committee could be implemented.
"Immediate action is essential. It will be taken and boxing will be stopped until it is," said Sen. Roy Goodman, who chaired the Senate committee.
Only the state athletic commission had the authority to put a suspension into effect, and it did at about 6 p.m.
In a statement, Jack Prenderville, the athletic commission chairman, said, "We are in the process of completing our investigation and will be submitting our report to the governor shortly. Pending the submission of this report and while we are in the process of implementing our recommendations, which all be set forth therein, we have cancelled all boxing shows."
Affected immediately are two small-club programs in the New York metropolitan area set for Friday and Saturday nights. Madision Square Garden also has postponed an amateur competition set for Monday night, although that competition is not under the athletic commission's jurisdiction.
A spokesman for the commission said the suspension of the sport likely will run from one to two weeks.
The Commission, in its report to the governor, makes many of the same recommendations that the senate committee did, Prenderville said.
"In addition, we have adopted as a rule, the extension of the automatic suspension of a fighter after a KO (knockout) from 30 days to 90 days in accord with the recommendations of noted neurolgists . . .," he added.
Classen died Nov. 28, five days after suffering a blood clot between the brain and skull in a 10-round fight with Wilford Scypion at Madision Square Garden's Felt Forum.
In the ninth round of the bout, Classen was hit with at least three hard rights, and many sitnesses said that they would have stopped the fight at that point.
However, Classen was allowed to go into the 10th round and he was knocked through the ropes seconds after it began.
There have been eight fighting deaths in the world this year, two of them in New York. The other death in the city was that of Francisco Rodriguez, who collapsed of an enlarged heart in his first amateur bout.