Melvina Lathan has been named as the head of the New York State Athletic Commission. A former boxing judge, Lathan becomes the first African American woman to hold the position. “I am thrilled that Melvina Lathan will serve as our state athletic com

Melvina Lathan has been named as the head of the New York State Athletic Commission.

A former boxing judge, Lathan becomes the first African American woman to hold the position.

“I am thrilled that Melvina Lathan will serve as our state athletic commission chairperson,” New York Governor David Paterson said in naming Lathan to the post. “She has had a remarkable career in the field of boxing, and I know that she will bring her wealth of experience, energy and passion for sports to her new role. I can think of no one better to lead our state athletic commission.”

A native of Philadelphia, Lathan became the first African American female licensed as a professional boxing judge in New York in 1991. During her career, she judged more than 235 fight cards, including 82 world title bouts. A member of the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame, she received the Legends in Sports award from the Women in Sports Foundation and the Rocky Marciano Award from the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing.

“Melvina Lathan has been breaking barriers ad shattering stereotypes all her life,” said New York Congressman Charles Rangel. “We are all proud to see her become this state’s chair of the athletic commission, not only because she will be an effective and ethical caretaker of sports in our state, but also because she will be an inspirational role model for both young girls and boys.”

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