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"State ends fight against 'beatdowns'"

on Wednesday, 10 August 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Tampa Bay Online

The Florida Boxing Commission has dropped a cease-and-desist order issued in April against the Shefights.net website that features women pummeling homeless men and other male volunteers.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation said investigators determined the "pugilistic events" depicted on the website do not fall under the commission's jurisdiction because they don't meet the definition of a boxing match.

The commission originally was in the corner of attorneys suing the site's creator, J.P. Florida Productions LLC, on behalf of two homeless men in St. Petersburg who were paid $50 for submitting to "12 minute beatdowns" by women trained in mixed martial arts.

The beatings, which took place in the garage of a condominium near Tropicana Field this year, involved punching, kicking and whipping.

Attorneys from Southern Legal Counsel Inc. representing the homeless men allege one of them was hogtied and suffered broken ribs and a dislocated jaw.

The website's attorney described the bouts as a form of sadomasochistic expression.

"This is not a boxing match by any imagination," said attorney Luke Lirot, who represents Shefights founder Jeffrey Williams. ...

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