Skip to content

Can You Get A Boxing License With A Criminal Record

Mike Tyson visit the boxing Hall of Fame.

Table of Contents

The sport of boxing has historically been filled with fighters from tough backgrounds. Although not always the case, oftentimes many of its greatest athletes had many trials and tribulations in their lives. So with that in mind, the question sometimes arises as to whether someone with a criminal record can get a boxing license.

If you have a criminal record, have served your time in prison and are now a free man or woman. Then you can indeed have a boxing license. There are multiple instances of famous boxers who have criminal records.

It will, of course, be down to the regional boxing authority to decide whether you fulfil all the criteria required to get the license. But providing you have done your time, then the boxing license itself should not be such a big issue.

The sport of boxing, as with many other testosterone-filled sports is littered with current and former criminals. And I do not just mean the fighters themselves.

From managers to promoters, to the boxers who get in the ring and fight. Boxing has always attracted a rather interesting bunch of characters. And this can be seen around the world no matter which country you go to.

List of Famous Boxers With Criminal Records

Below is a list of some of the most famous boxers throughout the history of the sport who have a criminal record. And as we can see, throughout the generations many have done some time in jail.

Fighter NameCriminal Conviction
Mike TysonRape
Bernard HopkinsStrong armed robbery
Sonny ListonArmed robbery
Floyd Mayweather JnrBattery
Floyd Mayweather SeniorDrug trafficking
Edwin ValeroAssaulting his wife
Jack JohnsonViolating the Mann act
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter Murder
Trevor BerbickSexual assault
Clifford EtienneArmed robbery
List of famous boxers who were criminally convicted

So as we can see from this list, which I might add is not exhaustive. Some of the greatest names the sport of boxing has known have committed crimes, in fact, some of the worst crimes in the world. Yet they had no issue gaining their boxing licenses once they were fit to do so.

Can A Boxer Go To Jail For Fighting

Another issue people wonder about is if a boxer can go to jail for fighting. Because they have been trained to basically hurt people, it’s a question that often pops up and so I thought we should address it.

The law states that a boxer will not be treated any differently than another person. Rather the degree of recklessness involved in the incident comes from the fact that they are trained to fight. Which in turn caused the person to act recklessly in a given situation.

Meaning that the boxer acts differently in the situation than a regular person who is not trained. And this in itself can have an effect on the decision of the judge.

Not for example that a boxer punched a person, but they were in the right. However, because they were a boxer that somehow made the situation different, no! If they were in the right and defending themselves then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Where an issue might arise, is if a trained fighter chooses to use unnecessary force on someone. When they know how to deal with a person and perhaps subdue them. They instead use excessive force, maybe resulting in more severe damage than necessary.

This act when trained could affect the result of the decision. As the judge will have been made aware that the fighter did not have to go as far as they did. And could have dealt with the person in a different manner.

In Conclusion

So I hope the answer to this question has now been made clear. As there is no issue with former criminals getting a boxing license. If we were talking about criminals with active warrants or open cases against them, then the situation might be different.

But in terms of obtaining the license, the boxing commissions are more than happy to get top talent back in the ring. Top talent equals big paydays and when it comes to paydays, money talks.

And you can see from the long list of boxers with criminal records that it’s not a deciding factor on whether or not they get licensed. I would add that if we took all the boxers out of the sport who at one time or another had committed a crime. The sport of boxing would be a far less interesting and exciting place to be.