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Suits Filed Vs. Toughman Boxing Promoter

September 22, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The family of a woman killed in a Toughman boxing event sued the event’s promoter Monday, calling the matches a ``barbaric, vicious, unregulated, bloody slugfest.″

The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $15,000 in the death of Stacy Young after a Toughman event at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds in June. A second lawsuit seeks similar damages for a man, Tony Roten, who suffered brain damage at the same event.

The lawsuits name Toughman founder Art Dore, his promotions company and the regulatory association he founded, along with the Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association, which manages the fairgrounds, and the referee overseeing the matches.

``People need to know how dangerous these events actually are,″ said Greg Kehoe, who is representing the Young family and the Rotens. ``Not only is the possibility of death a speculative issue, it’s a reality.″

Neither Dore, nor Sarasota County fair officials or the referee returned calls for comment.

Four people have died in Toughman matches in the last year and 10 have died since Dore founded the Toughman competition 24 years ago.

Toughman boxing events are held nationwide and are open to amateur boxers who compete for small prizes, such as jackets and trophies. Contestants sign forms indicating they have trained for the event, but in reality many have not trained nor boxed before.

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