Johnny "Superfoot" Davis

Kickboxing in Las Vegas



Director of Nevada State Athletic Commission
Marc Ratner
Speaks out on Kickboxing in Las Vegas.

MAY, 2001

The K-1 event features some of the best heavyweight kickboxers and other martial art styles from around the world. Many celebrities attended the prestigious event on May 5th, 2001 at the Las Vegas Mirage Hotel. But one of the most well known figures in attendance had to be the Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission Marc Ratner. (Right)

The soft spoken Ratner seems perhaps a little timid and almost shy at first impression but it only takes a moment of conversation with him to realize that he is a very intelligent, confident, and serious opponent to contend with . I 'm sure fighters like former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson quickly realized that Mr. Ratner may be soft spoken but carries a big punch.

It was Mr. Ratner and his board of commissioners that lead the charge in issuing Mr. Tyson an almost lethal blow to his elaborate boxing career. The now famous "Bite of the Century", in regards to Mike Tyson's biting of champion Evander Holyfield's ear, forced the Nevada Commission to suspend Mr. Tyson's Boxing license in the State of Nevada. This is a major blow to any boxer seeking the big purses and promotions provided by the wealthy casinos to entertain their high rolling guest.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Ratner on several issues including his thoughts on Mike Tyson. I think readers may be surprised at some of his comments as well as pleased to know of his feeling towards the sport of kick boxing.

Interview with Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission Mark Ratner, May 5th, 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the K-1 Event...

  • Johnny Davis: "Mr. Ratner, How do you feel about the sport of kickboxing as opposed to the sport of boxing?"
    • Marc Ratner:"I enjoy the sport of kickboxing very much. I really enjoy the spin around back kick (the spinning backkick) its one of my favorite shots. The athleticism of kickboxers is just unbelievable! We've had kickboxing here in Nevada for many, many years and its part of the boxing family to me and we are delighted to have it!"

  • Johnny Davis: What do you think the future of kickboxing will be in Vegas?
    • Marc Ratner: "I think the future is very big for all martial arts especially the mixed martial arts. There are mixed martial arts people trying to come here and we are having a meeting very soon to discuss mixed martial arts...some of the tough man stuff and some of the hybrids that come from them. (*This meeting already took place prior to the posting of this interview.) As the Athletic Commission, we are learning about mixed martial arts and certainly don't know enough about these things. We are very knowledgeable about boxing. We're having a meeting on *May 23rd, we are inviting some of the Karate people, the Ultimate and Cage Combat people and really invite others to come." (Note: There was a posting for the aforementioned meeting on May IKF news page)

  • Johnny Davis: "This brings me to my next question. Several of the judges you bring in for kickboxing events are boxing judges. If this is correct, how are they judging these matches based on kickboxing matches and rules?"
    • Marc Ratner: "We do bring some kickboxing judges from California. We had a seminar today to go over what our regular boxing judges should be looking for in kickboxing matches. Its an ongoing and in-progress learning situation. We do bring in out-of-state referees as well."

  • Johnny Davis:"On another issue, what do you think of Mike Tyson?"
    • Marc Ratner: "Mike Tyson is respectful, professional, and polite to me and that's all I can ask from him. I expect him to apply this year here at the Nevada State Athletic Commission and we'll see what happens."

  • Johnny Davis: "Is he really the un-crowned heavyweight champion of the world?"
    • Marc Ratner: "Well that's a hard question. He lost the championship in the ring...when you say the un-crowned, he is going to have to beat Lennox (Lewis) or Nasim Rahman to be officially crowned. However, he is certainly the un-crowned champion of Pay Per View!" (we laughed)

Director Ratner is sincerely a fan of kickboxing and seems to really be making an all-out effort to allow the sport of kickboxing to shine in Las Vegas, the city of lights. We can all be thankful he's in our corner. I'm sure he will be at ringside for the upcoming K-1 event August 11th at the beautiful Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. We hope to see you there!

All information on this page Copyright by Johnny Davis, 2001


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