|ESPN has informed promoters and managers that fighters will no longer be allowed to adorn temporary tattoos on their bodies which advertise websites, online casinos and the like, if they are scheduled to fight on any of the network's very successful boxing series, an industry insider told SecondsOut late on Thursday night. |
If any fighter enters the ring with a tattoo or any advertising on their outfit, there will be a rights fee deduction of $10,000 taken from the promoter. Possible expulsion from future ESPN shows could be a penalty given to anyone who violates this new injunction, one would think.
The temporary tattoo craze began on September 29 when Bernard Hopkins entered the ring against Felix Trinidad in front of the largest pay-per-view crowd of the year with the name of an online casino emblazoned in black ink across his back. Since then, it seems impossible to watch any semi-important fight and not see at least one of the fighters with the markings.
Fighters are paid by the websites for the “rental” of their backs. Often it is not paid in cash, but the money is paid back as a wager that the fighter would make on himself to win the fight on the site.
Nevada recently tried to prevent the tattoos, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission was taken to court by one of the online sites. The site was granted a temporary injunction that allowed the use of the temporary tattoos.
Certainly this move by ESPN will be followed by lawsuits from fighters scheduled to fight in the near future, who were planning to have the tattoos when they entered the ring.