Longtime boxing, MMA promoter Gary Shaw dies at 79

Longtime boxing, MMA promoter Gary Shaw dies at 79


Editor’s note: This article was originally published at MMAJunkie.com.


Longtime combat sports promoter Gary Shaw has died.

Shaw, 79, died Thursday, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman first announced. According to veteran combat sports reporter Kevin Iole, Shaw suffered a heart attack in January and never fully recovered.

With a more extensive resume in boxing, through his work promoting for Main Events and Gary Shaw Productions, Shaw is known in the MMA space for his time heading then-UFC competitor EliteXC. His son, Jared Shaw, assisted as vice president and matchmaker.

From February 2007 to October 2008, EliteXC held 20 events around the United States. In May 2008, the promotion became the first to hold MMA fights broadcasted live on primetime network television. It held three events on CBS before it ceased operations. It’s final event was held in October 2008 and was initially headlined by a grudge match between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock.

However, Shamrock suffered a cut in the locker room before the fight. Seth Petruzelli stepped in on moments’ notice to replace Shamrock and finished Slice with strikes in 14 seconds.

The promotion later filed for bankruptcy. In 2009, many of EliteXC’s assets, including its fight library, current fighter pool, and broadcast deals were sold to Strikeforce, headed by Scott Coker.

Fighters such as Slice and Gina Carano carved out their early MMA starts under the EliteXC banner, while Shaw also promoted events featuring more established talent including Cris Cyborg, Jake Shields, Frank Shamrock, Robbie Lawler, Eddie Alvarez, Nick Diaz, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and others.

Shaw also worked for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board (NJACB) from 1971 to 1999. In boxing, he promoted the likes of Shane Mosley, Fernando Vargas, Tim Bradley, and the 2002 match between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Shaw was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and California Boxing Hall of Fame.

Scroll below to see what the combat sports community had to say about Shaw after news of his death:


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