FRIDAY, December 27th, 2019, AT 6:00 PM/ PST

It's Often What We Don't See That Keeps The Sport Moving Forward
Steve Fossum

In this field of fight sports, like any, there are the stars everyone sees in front of the camera, which we call the exposed tip of the iceberg. However, like the Iceberg image of success, there is a lot of individuals who make up all the work below the water line of that Iceberg, known as it's foundation for its very existence. Here's an award given to one of those like us who share the work, "Below the waterline, but support what everyone else is doing and seeing above." The thankless part of being one of those behind the scenes doing a lot of work to keep us all not only organized, but more so, SAFE, so that those above the waterline can bask in all the Glory. Congratulations Andy Foster (Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission) for winning the Yahoo Sports, is the 2019 Yahoo Sports Man of the Year in boxing. Thank you for all you do to keep the Fight Sports moving forward in a Safe as well as Successful way for everyone.

Full Story Reposted Below Can Be Found at Yahoo Sports
By Clicking HERE.

Andy Foster of the California Athletic Commission is the 2019 Yahoo Sports Man of the Year
in boxing for prioritizing fighter safety.
(Photo - Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Andy Foster's guidance
Deontay Wilder's knockout highlight 2019
Yahoo Sports boxing awards.

By Kevin Iole
Combat columnist Yahoo Sports / Dec 27, 2019, 12:09 PM

The action in the ring was great in 2019. There were a slew of candidates for Fight of the Year, which we'll announce on Monday, and for the first time in a long time, the fights the fans most wanted to see began to be made regularly.

New stars emerged and the sport is, in a lot of ways, as healthy as it has been in a long time. There is an overwhelming amount of broadcast coverage, perhaps more than ever, and plenty of sponsor interest.

But for fighter safety, 2019 was one of the worst years ever. Four fighters died after bouts, underscoring the huge risk a fighter takes every time he/she walks up those three steps and slips beneath the ropes.

The California State Athletic Commission, under the direction of executive officer Andy Foster, has become a leader in regulation and ensuring fights are as fair as can be while at the same time prioritizing fighter safety.

A former MMA fighter with a 9-2 pro mark, Foster has become the country's top combat sports regulator by focusing on these areas since his appointment in 2012.

In 2019, Foster led a commission that began to aggressively focus on the dangers fighters face in weight cutting. Foster won't hesitate to force a fighter to move up a weight if he feels the fighter is too dehydrated and unable to compete safely at his/her current weight.

Fighters often try to shrink their bodies as much as possible to fight at the lowest possible weight class. Dehydration has been linked to many fighter deaths and traumatic brain injuries.

In addition, the California commission has become a leader in the anti-doping field, and in 2019 set standards for thresholds that sought to differentiate between cheating and contaminated supplements.

For all of that, and his commitment to quality sport, Andy Foster is the 2019 Yahoo Sports Man of the Year in boxing.

My runners-up are a pair of heavyweights who have revived interest in boxing's most important division. For more than a quarter of a century now, whenever a lapsed fan would talk about what's wrong with boxing, the discussion almost always began with issues in the heavyweight division.

If that complaint is put forward today, though, it's simply because someone isn't paying attention. The heavyweight division is as vibrant and compelling as it has been since the Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe era in the early 1990s.

This group isn't near that yet, but it is on that path and it has talent at all levels.

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury are my runners-up. With their talents, their accessibility and their willingness to promote themselves and their sport, they've lifted the game's most important division and may finally be putting the tired old saw about "boxing is dead" to rest.

It would have been great if they'd fought an immediate rematch of their memorable 2018 draw in 2019, but they are not only signed to fight each other on Feb. 22 in Las Vegas, but they've signed to fight a third time. And their rematch would have almost certainly occurred had Fury not signed a deal with Top Rank in February.

My other runner-up is the veteran Manny Pacquiao, the legend from the Philippines who won two high-performing pay-per-view bouts and handed Keith Thurman his first defeat in a throwback performance. He did that while being as accessible as any major fighter ever and while holding down a sort of important second job.

Pacquiao, of course, is a senator in his native country.

Others I considered were unified super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez, a leader in his community; Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn; Top Rank president Todd duBoef; and Fresno, California-based promoter/manager Rick Mirigian.

My other awards:

Prospect of the Year: My requirement for this is a fighter must be under 25 years old, have fewer than 25 pro fights and have never fought for a world title. There are three fighters in this category who stand out from the crowd: welterweights Vergil Ortiz (21 years old, 15-0, 15 KOs) and Jaron Ennis (22 years old, 24-0, 22 KOs) and heavyweight Daniel Dubois (22 years old, 13-0, 12 KOs).

This is one of those years in which any of the three could win it, but my choice, after much consternation, is Dubois. He's got the size (6-foot-5, 240 pounds), punch and athleticism to sit atop the heavyweight division for a decade.

WEDNESDAY, October 24th, 2012, AT 5:35 PM/ PST

Welcome Andy Foster
As The New Executive Director Of The
California State Athletic Commission!

This coming November 7th, the California State Athletic Commission will welcome a new Executive Director...
Andy Foster of Georgia.

So many here in California want to know a little about Mr. Foster... Well, let us fill you in.

Foster's roots in the fight sports are very well known to those of us here at the International Kickboxing Federation and our sister organization for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) the International Sport Combat Federation. Since 1997 Foster has been a fighter, trainer, promoter as well as an official with both organizations. Knowing this, when promoters, trainers, fighters and other officials need to speak to the Executive Director in California, they won't encounter some pencil - pushing bureaucrat who knows very little about fight sports. Simply put, Foster literally has been in their shoes!

He is an experienced multi-disciplined fighter and martial artist who has trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo, Aikido, Judo, Hapkido, Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, Sambo, Kickboxing, and Boxing. By the time he retired as a professional MMA fighter he had a fight record of 17 wins with 2 loses. (8-0 Amateur and 9-2 Professional / Pro- 2 KOs, 7 Submissions, 1 TKO, 1 Decision). However MMA wasn't his only fight sport. He also has a 23-3 Amateur Boxing Record, a 77-4-2 Sport Grappling Record as well as some amateur kickboxing fights.

However, being a successful fighter wasn't all he's done. He has promoted five professional MMA cards, four professional boxing matches, matchmaker of nine professional MMA cards, trained over 30 successful MMA fighters, refereed over 500 MMA bouts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor (2003–2007), served as Head Referee for the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission (2007–2008), instructed several referee and judge training course on behalf of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission, and judged over 100 MMA bouts... So again... Foster has literally been in ALL our shoes!

He was also a 3 time Champion. As an Amateur he won the ISCF Amateur East Coast Light Heavyweight Title on October 25th, 2003 in Dalton, Georgia, USA when he defeated Will Blankenship of Athens, Georgia, USA by Armbar submission at 2:18 of round 1. The following year he went on to win the ISCF Amateur East Coast Middleweight title on April 23rd, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA when he defeated Tim Stout by Rear Naked Choke in round 1. He also won the BodogFight Series III Costa Rica Combat winner in 2007.

Foster retired his ISCF Amateur Titles when he turned Pro on August 2nd, 2004. While fighting he lived in Dalton, Georgia and was trained by Ben Kiker, who later became one of the Commissioner of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission. (See IKF January 2010 News - Changes To The Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission!) Foster also fought as a Kickboxer on several IKF Sanctioned events in Georgia. He eventually turned Pro on August 2nd, 2004 and then retired from fighting in 2007.

With all his success as a professional mixed martial arts fighter, in 2008, Foster gave it all up to help better the fight sports from a regulatory position.
In 2008 Foster was appointed by then Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel as the Executive Director of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission. While there, he was instrumental in helping with both Amateur and Professional fight sport rules and regulations that made Georgia one of the countries leaders in fight sport regulations.

Later that year he was named 2008 Georgia Boxing Official of the Year by the Georgia Championship Boxing Committee at the Committee's annual Awards Banquet. The Committee is comprised of managers, trainers, promoters, commissioners and officials throughout the state. "Andrew's efforts have helped boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts create a positive impact on the Georgia economy, increase the safety for the participants of these sports, and make Georgia a more viable option to attract bigger name attractions," said then Secretary Handel.

In September of 2009 the ISCF teamed up with ISCF promoter Monica Sanford, the owner of Devil Dog (DD) Productions who is the wife of a U.S. Marine and accomplished something no one has ever done in the history of fight sports. Sanford worked with Armed Forces Entertainment, - Fight Party Productions & the ISCF to host the first ever MMA event held in a warzone within enemy territory. ( Full Story Click Here.)

The location was a military base in Mosul, Kuwait, Iraq and the event was called "Fight Night For Heroes". ISCF President Steve Fossum was scheduled to attend as the chief ISCF Event Representative, however instead, he offered the opportunity to Foster who gladly accepted. (Above & Above At Right)

Foster and ISCF Promoter Brett Moses (Fight Party Productions) and ISCF Official JJ Coronel (Who also served as a judge on the event) coordinated ISCF Referees Tony Mullinax & Kim Winslow along with ISCF Judges Chris McGloughlin & Cardo Urso to regulate the 17 bout event involving mainly active duty military and was held on Saturday, September 5th, 2009.


Along with representing the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission as a member of the Association of Boxing Commissions ( he is a member of the Unified Rules Committee of Matchmaking of Mixed Martial Arts (2008–Present); Association of Boxing Commissions Member of the Unified Rules Committee to review Unified Rules (2008–Present) and Association of Boxing Commissions Chairman of the Amateur Unified Rules Committee.

"I'm very excited to be coming to California," stated Foster in the release. "It has a rich boxing and MMA presence with the largest number of shows in the nation, and I look forward to ensuring a regulatory environment that is consistent and fair based upon contestant safety, public protection, and economic growth."

Foster will be a VERY WELCOME Executive Director for California. Former ED George Dodd had great intentions and did some very good things. However, his hands were tied in a lot of ways and he was often held back from the sitting board. Surly there are many different opinions as to what Dodd did or did not accomplish. For the IKF, he was exceptional and willing to try new things that included the "First Ever" State Commission regulated Amateur Muay Thai Kickboxing Tournament, the 2011 IKF West Coast Classic Amateur Muay Thai / Kickboxing Championships that were held on November 25th, 26th & 27th, 2011 in Sacramento, California.

However it's not hard to find negative opinions about the CSAC on the internet. For the last several years it's been a smorgasbord of "Drama" topics fight sport writers have had to write about. Even Foster's appointment gave writers the opportunity to write about the CSAC's past. (Click Here.)

Regardless, there is a strong sense of optimism here at the IKF and ISCF as well as with many others in California that Foster will step in and 'take the bull by the horns' per say and get the right things done. One thing the board can't do is claim inexperience of him. From the training gyms, to the ring, the cage all the way to the Executive Directors desk, Foster is without a doubt the MOST EXPERIENCED Executive Director California has EVER had! Hopefully the Commission Board will listen to Foster and his fresh ideas as to how he turned things around in Georgia and made it a welcome state for Fight Sports at both the Amateur and Professional levels.

CSAC chairman John Frierson said today in a press release. "We are hoping he (Foster) can do in California what he did in Georgia in terms of increasing both revenue and the number of shows," To do so, Frierson and his board needs to allow Foster some open ground to implement new ideas, even if current laws and policies need to be changed or adapted, such as the requirement of ONLY a non-profit regulatory body can oversee amateur fight sports, or have the STATE Commission take over Amateur MMA like Foster did in Georgia. However Foster allowed, approved Muay Thai and Kickboxing sanctioning bodies to oversee Amateur Muay Thai and Kickboxing in Georgia, which has helped build the amateur fight sports, which build the pro fight sports, etc, you get the idea... Bottom line is more state revenue is what California needs to keep the Athletic Commission going... California needs Foster to do exactly that here! The question is, "Will Frierson and his board allow Foster to do so?"

Welcome To California Mr. Foster!


  • Andy Foster
    Dalton, Georgia, USA, P: 9-2, A: 8-0, 185, 6'2", 1-13-79, Ben Kiker
    • ISCF Amateur East Coast Light Heavyweight Champion
      • Foster won his title on October 25th, 2003 in Dalton, Georgia, USA when he defeated Will Blankenship of Athens, Georgia, USA by Armbar submission at 2:18 of round 1.
      • Foster retired his Amateur Title when he turned Pro on August 2nd, 2004.
      • Andy Foster Vs Will Blankenship - YOUTUBE
        • ISCF President Steve Fossum was one of the commentators on this bout.
      • Last Update: 2-14-05