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“Celebrity Boxing” Promoter Charged with Rigging Fights

HARRISBURG – A self-styled “celebrity boxing promoter” has been charged by the Attorney General’s Office with staging numerous events in the Philadelphia area without a valid promoter’s license from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, as well as pre-arranging the “winners” and “losers” of various bouts.

Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendant as Damon Richard Feldman, 40, 2208 Dickins Lane, Broomall, Delaware County.

Corbett said that according to the criminal complaint, Feldman, operating as the “Celebrity Boxing Federation,” staged a series of at least six different events in Philadelphia and Delaware County between September 2008 and December 2009, all without holding a valid Pennsylvania promoters license and in violation of the state’s Boxing Act. The events included a 2008 match featuring actor/radio personality Danny Bonaduce and Bob Levy, from the Howard Stern show.

“The only thing that appears to be ‘real’ about any of these events is the money that went into Mr. Feldman’s pocket and the media attention that he received,” Corbett said. “These so-called fights were staged without concern for the health and safety of the participants, a lack of proper medical care and with a total disregard for the professional standards of boxing in Pennsylvania.”

Corbett said that the “fights” were promoted by Feldman on the Internet, in newspaper ads and on television, often using claims of charitable contributions that would supposedly benefit the families of slain police officers.

According to the criminal complaint, Feldman never received the required permits from the State Athletic Commission for his events, which required the use of state-licensed doctors, referees, judges, timekeepers, matchmakers, trainers and other professionals – for the protection of the boxers and to ensure legitimate results.

Corbett said that various fights observed by inspectors from the State Athletic Commission and agents from the Attorney General’s Office included bouts where boxers were knocked out and did not receive prompt medical attention; situations where doctors were not present at ringside to examine and treat injured fighters; and potentially dangerous matches that included out-of-shape boxers fighting opponents with clearly superior skills.

“As if dangerous conditions and reckless mismatches were not enough, Feldman is accused of ‘fixing’ the outcome of many bouts,” Corbett said, “allegedly picking the winners and losers before any punches were even thrown.”

Feldman is charged with six counts of staging prohibited competitions and six counts of rigging publicly exhibited contests, all first-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines.

Feldman was preliminarily arraigned on April 7th before Folcroft Magisterial District Judge Edward W. Christie and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. Additionally, Feldman is prohibited from staging any fights in Pennsylvania as a condition of his release on bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 14th, at 9:30 a.m., before Magisterial District Judge Christie.

Feldman will be prosecuted in Delaware County by Senior Deputy Attorney General John Flannery of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Section.

Corbett thanked the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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