Damon Feldman charged with fixing Celebrity Boxing fights, promoting without license
The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office may have KO'd plans for Damon Feldman's next Celebrity Boxing event.
Feldman has been charged with six counts of staging events in the Philadelphia area without a valid promoter's license from the state athletic commission, and with fixing six bouts. Attorney General Tom Corbett said the six events Feldman's Celebrity Boxing Federation has put on in Philadelphia and Delaware County between Sept. 2008 and Dec. 2009 were all staged without him holding a valid Pennsylvania promoters license, in violation of the state's Boxing Act.
"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 in a written statement. "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.
"As if dangerous conditions and reckless mismatches were not enough, Feldman is accused of 'fixing' the outcome of many bouts," Corbett continued, "allegedly picking the winners and losers before any punches were even thrown."
"I classify myself as the WWE of boxing. The bottom line is I give formerly famous people the chance to step in the ring, they're not gonna kill each other. It's 100 percent entertainment," Feldman told us this afternoon, of his fights, which have featured Rodney King, Tanya Harding, Jose Canseco and Willie Aames, to name a few contestants.
"It's similar to sports entertainment that the WWE engages in. That's how Damon's promoted this for as long as I have been associated with him," said Feldman's attorney Bob Bush asked whether Feldman's fights were fixed.
When confronted by authorities in December, Feldman, 40, of Broomall, Delaware County, admitted that the fights were not sanctioned by the SAC, and that he didn't possess a valid promoter's license, according to the criminal complaint filed this week in Folcroft District Court in Delaware County. Feldman also said that the winners and losers were pre-determined in 95 percent of the bouts, the court documents state.
Corbett spokesman Nils Frederiksen declined to reveal to Daily News reporter William Bender which fights were fixed, but said that based on the advertising, "these were being held up as real fights."
"If you stage what you call a boxing match and hold it up as a boxing match, and then you rig it, you're guilty of a misdemeanor," Frederiksen said. "It's a crime, I don't care what you call it. You can't rig a fight in Pennsylvania."
Authorities say the investigation began when the families of slain Philadelphia police officers complained about the officers' names being used in association with the events.
"They were disturbed that their loved ones were being used for hyping these so-called boxing matches," Frederiksen told Bender.
Feldman is charged with six counts of staging prohibited competitions and six counts of rigging publicly exhibited contests, which are all first- degree misdemeanors. If convicted, each count is punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines. Feldman was arraigned Wednesday before Folcroft Magisterial District Judge Edward W. Christie and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. He faces premilinary hearing at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
As a condition of his bail, he is prohibited from staging any Celebrity Boxing matches in Pennsylvania.
"We are watching, and he knows that," Frederiksen said.
That means he's forbidden from staging the May 7 event at Club Polaris (460 N. 9th) that features porn starlet Gina Lynn against former tabloid reporter Kate Major, who is engaged to Lindsay Lohan's father Michael Lohan.
Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, one of the many mistresses of Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James was to referee.
"I'm not canceling it, I'm just taking it somewhere else," said Feldman, hinting he may stage it in Delaware.
Feldman believes he's the victim of "What appears to be a personal vendetta" from Greg Sirb, executive director of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission. Sirb boxed in two of Feldman's presumably unclicensed events in 2002 and 2003. According to Feldman, Sirb asked Feldman if he could take on Danny Bonaduce when the 94 WYSP DJ first boxed for Feldman in January 2008. When Feldman chose Justin "Justice" Scheman, then of Wired 96.5, as Bonaduce's opponent instead, he says Sirb then began to closely monitor his events.
"Damon has applied for a license numerous times and it seems that Mr. Sirb made it more challenging for him to get a license," Bush said yesterday.
Reached on his cell phone Friday afternoon, Sirb said he had "No comment at all concerning anything to do with Damon Feldman." Asked directly whether he had asked to be Bonaduce's opponent, Sirb repeated "No comment."