Larry Hazzard’s Firing Is An Outrage

By Francis Walker
Updated: November 26, 2007

NEW YORK — Larry Hazzard, Sr. recently lost his job as the New Jersey State Athletic Commissioner. Loved by few, hated by many, but respected by all, many believe that Hazzard’s firing was indeed unjust.

For those who are unaware as to whom Larry Hazzard, Sr. is, you’ll never forget him once you meet him. Hazzard is a well-dressed, very outspoken, and highly opinionated Black man. He holds nothing back and tells it like it is.

Hazzard, a 63 year-old from Newark, NJ, has been involved in boxing for more than 22 years as a former referee and State Commissioner. Hazzard took over the position as NJSAC from Jersey Joe Walcott in 1985.

Since his inauguration as Commissioner, Hazzard has helped New Jersey become one of the most recognizable locations for combative sports. Marquee fights such as Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks, Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman, Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Vinny Pazienza, all occurred under Hazzard’s sharp eyes.

Also, Hazzard was instrumental for allowing the rugged Ultimate Fighting Championship and Mixed Martial Arts fights to be legally sanctioned in the state of New Jersey.

Most importantly, Hazzard’s primary priority was the welfare and safety of the fighters that he’s governed. Hazzard’s firing sent immediate shockwaves throughout the boxing world.

Fighters, boxing promoters, sanctioning bodies, sports media, and journalists everywhere are upset. Hazzard’s firing, at the hands of New Jersey States Attorney General Anne Milgram, was sudden. Hazzard’s firing came without warning.

“There was no warning, nothing,” Hazzard said. “I just got back from burying my sister’s son.

According to sources, “Commissioner Hazzard did nothing wrong. It was just time for a change.” Even more upsetting, Hazzard’s firing occurred the same day he buried his 41 year-old nephew, Louis Arenas, who died of a heart attack.


Hazzard has received strong support, especially from the Black Community. Former undisputed world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins has voiced his disapproval of the recent events.

“The bigger question here, and as far as I know, Ms. Milgram did not consult anyone within the boxing community to get opinions to base her decision on,” Hopkins has stated.

Hazzard has appeared on a number of radio shows and television programs and will continue to voice his opinions. Attorney General Milgram has gone on record stating that Hazzard has done a fine job throughout his tenure as Commissioner.

If it’s not broke, why fix it? If someone is doing a fine job at their post for as long as Hazzard, why let that person go?