Arizona Department of Gaming taps new executive director of boxing commission

(Submitted Photo)

Arizona Department of Gaming officials announced Wednesday, April 25 the appointment of Francisco Meneses, Jr. as Executive Director of the Arizona Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission.

The Commissioners recognized Mr. Meneses’ appointment at the Wednesday, April 25 Commission meeting, according to a press release.

As executive director, Mr. Meneses will oversee all professional boxing and pro-am mixed martial arts events in Arizona, including kickboxing, muay thai and toughman.

To maintain the integrity of the sanctioned bouts and protect the contestants’ health and safety, Mr. Meneses will enforce applicable laws and rules, administer all required licensing and staff open public meetings of the Commission, a release states.

“I am excited that Mr. Meneses has joined the Arizona Department of Gaming as the new Executive Director of the Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission,” Commission Chairman Scott Fletcher said in a prepared statement.

“On behalf of the Commissioners, we are confident that Mr. Meneses’ prior experience regulating boxing and mixed martial arts events in Arizona as an inspector, in combination with his law enforcement background, will support the continued advancement of these combat sports in our state.”

Commissioner Joe Pennington said the commission will miss the previous director.

“The commission expresses deep appreciation for the dedicated service, professionalism and leadership of Juan Estrada, outgoing executive director, whose legacy is punctuated by his valuable role in helping to update and expand Arizona’s combat sports rules for the first time since the 1980s,” he said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Meneses, a seasoned law enforcement officer with about 15 years of experience, has held both supervisory and investigative positions with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona Department of Gaming’s Racing Division.

In addition to applying state and federal laws, and the Arizona Administrative Code, Mr. Meneses’ expertise includes conflict resolution, criminal investigation, team leadership, security/vulnerability assessment, event management, and communications.

“We are happy to welcome Francisco back to the Arizona Department of Gaming in his new role,” Dan Bergin, Arizona Department of Gaming director, said in a prepared statement.

“As for promoters, fighters and other stakeholders of the Arizona Department of Gaming Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Division, it’s business as usual. Juan Estrada, outgoing Executive Director, will ensure continuity of service by supporting the Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission through the transition.”

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