Trying to Kill Boxing in Minnesota

Boxing, long revered as the Sweet Science and practiced with pride by generations of Minnesotans, is fighting to remain relevant in Minnesota.

Minnesota boxing hero Jason Litzau

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is a pretty good newspaper, but its sports editors decided a long time ago that boxing just isn’t worth covering- no matter what happens and no matter how good our local fighters are.  Need proof?  Go to and do a search for the name Jason Litzau.  Hello, Strib sports editor?  Jason Litzau is fighting for a world title next month.  Just thought you might like to know.

State government has been no friend to this great sport in Minnesota either.  Even before the former governor ( and former pro wrestler) Jesse Ventura abolished the State Boxing Commission, the attitude toward the sport was dismissive at best.  Without a state commission to regulate the sport Minnesota saw an explosion of so-called “tough man contests,” and legitimate boxing was chased to the Indian casinos.  Despite the fact that Governor Tim Pawlenty has reconstituted the boxing commission, our Minnesota fighters still are generally heading out of state to fight, even those who still train in-state.  Those who do have the opportunity to fight in state typically are still stuck fighting on the reservation.

Heavyweight sensation Joey Abell

Is the state of boxing all gloom-and-doom in Minnesota?  No.

What can anybody do to improve matters?  The solution from the Fistic Mystic: Complain and Consume.  Complain to media outlets that they’re giving boxing a short shrift.  Complain to promoters that they aren’t giving you what you want: fights in Minnesota cities.  And be a consumer of Minnesota boxing.  Buy tickets, attend events, and learn about your local athletic heroes by reading about them here at the Fistic Mystic blog and at  Also, learn to navigate so that you aren’t completely dependent on part-time hobbyist boxing writers to keep you informed.  There’s a wealth of information available for those who know where to look.

And here’s a clue for those of you in the Twin Cities and points south: don’t miss the March 22 event at Graham Arena in Rochester.  Joey Abell and Raphael Butler will both be in action against opponents yet to be named.  This is an opportunity to see the two best heavyweights in the state for the cost of one ticket; not to be missed.


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