Sirb to retire after 33 years with PA Commission

Sirb“It’s been a hell of a ride” – Greg Sirb

After 33 years, legendary Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission (SAC) executive director Greg Sirb is planning to retire. His last day is September 29.

Sirb has served as executive director since January 29, 1990, making him the country’s longest-tenured executive director of a state athletic commission. Currently, Sirb is serving under his seventh Pennsylvania governor and his 14th Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Sirb will receive “special recognition” this month from the members of the Pennsylvania Senate.

A native of Sharon, Pennsylvania, Sirb has deep roots in Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Edinboro University, where he wrestled in the early 1980s and was named a two-time all American. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Penn State University.

Sirb’s influence on boxing and related sports has been vast. He was involved in drafting language to amend the State Athletic Commission’s laws in 1992, which was an overhaul of the original 1989 SAC law.

As the State Athletic Commission’s executive director, Sirb has overseen and sanctioned events such as wrestling, boxing, and mixed martial arts (MMA), as well as athlete agent registration. Sirb is one of the founding members of the Association of Boxing Commissions and served as its president from 1996 through 2001. He was a 2001 inductee to the Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Hall of Fame and is a member of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Sirb is well known across the country as the face of Pennsylvania’s athletic commission. He has testified on numerous occasions before U.S. House and U.S. Senate committees in Washington, D.C., concerning the activities of professional boxing and MMA.

In 1994, he worked with Senator John McCain of Arizona to craft two major pieces of legislation that shaped how professional boxing in the United States is now handled. This legislation – the Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 and the Muhammed Ali Boxing Reform Act of 2000 – contained some of the first national laws and regulations that dictated how the various state and tribal boxing commissions govern professional boxing. Sirb was also instrumental in crafting the Unified Rules of Boxing that are still used today in all professional boxing events in the United States.

Sirb brought many high-profile national and international boxing matches to Pennsylvania, including Olympic boxing trial qualifiers and the historic boxing event in 2016 known as “Duelo del Siglo” (Duel of the Century), in which American and Cuban amateur boxers sparred on the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh.

It is estimated that Sirb has regulated well over 2,000 boxing events and 1,100 MMA events during his 33-year tenure with SAC and has supervised boxing events not only in Pennsylvania but also in 21 other state and tribal jurisdictions.

Sirb has conducted numerous judging and referee seminars throughout the United States, and his institutional knowledge of both boxing and MMA have been a valuable resource for many state and tribal commissions.

In 2019, the Boxing Writers Association of America awarded Sirb its highest honor – the James A. Farley Award for Honesty and Integrity in the sport. Association President Joseph Santoliquito described Sirb as “the best state commissioner in the country. He’s consistent, a stickler for the rules. Whether people like it or not, he doesn’t bend. He’s one of the fairest guys that’s out there.”

The site has also called Sirb “legendary.”

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There are more than 300 licensed boxers and more than 450 licensed professional and amateur mixed martial artists in Pennsylvania, making the commonwealth’s SAC one of the most active in the country.

In 2022, Pennsylvania was one of the most active states for professional boxing and MMA. SAC regulated 40 professional boxing events, the fourth most of any state in the nation, and 30 MMA events. The commission also sanctioned 71 amateur boxing events, nine kickboxing/Muay-Tai events, and 353 professional wrestling events.

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  • You always know where you stand with Greg Sirb … what we call “a stand up guy” who always had the power of his convictions and had the courage to express it at open forums … Greg will be missed … it has been my pleasure knowing Greg Sirb and verbally sparring with him from time to time … Chuck Williams

  • Definitely will be missed. As a ring announcer I worked with him for nearly 20 years. once we got to know and understand each other it was a very good working relationship. He is even more appreciated when you work with other commissions/Executive directors who aren’t on Greg’s level.

  • Burt Blackstone
    Insisted everyone did their best including the judges, refs, cornermen, ringside docs and the fighters. I remember him once saying to a boxer who didn’t try very hard….”you can’t do that, this is Philadelphia!”
    You had to do it his way and is main concern was ALWAYS for the fighter. He’s an icon. Looking forward to all of his future projects.

  • As a Timekeeper during his entire 33 years. I can attest he ran a very tight ship and kept everyone on their toes.

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