Florida Boxing Commission Asked To Stop Kangaroo Show (Video)

Activists have asked the Florida State Boxing Commission to stop a boxing match they say is illegal and cruel. The opponents are a kangaroo and the owner of a Central Florida circus.

The Rocky Show Circus is a travelling exhibition that is based in Kissimmee FL. The show features circus owner Javier Martinez who dresses up a kangaroo named Rocky in boxing trunks, puts him in a boxing ring and taunts the animal until he begins to fight back.

According to WFTV Martinez isn’t breaking any laws, but animal rights groups have begun protesting outside the circus because they believe forcing the kangaroo to fight is an act of cruelty.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has gone a step farther saying the fights are illegal because every boxing match in Florida must be licensed. They have petitioned the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) to stop the fight.

FSBC told PETA they only monitor human-to-human fights, but out of concern for the kangaroo, the commission contacted Florida Fish and Wildlife to intervene. FWC reported that Martinez has all of the correct permits, but they uncovered several citations given in the past to the circus by the USDA. One of those citations was “for failing to provide veterinary care and decent living conditions for the circus animals.”

Although The Rocky Show Circus is in good standing with the USDA, the agency decided to look into the matter further by sending a representative to watch one of Rocky’s fights.

A spokesperson for the USDA told the Metro Reporter, “Rocky was clearly stressed during shows, and had charged people during photo shoots, chewed on his own arm and attempted to flee the ring during the act.”

Research has also uncovered that at least two other kangaroos in the circus were “reported to have died while touring with the circus.” One is said to have suffered from a bacterial disease called “lumpy jaw” which can be caused by poor hygiene, overcrowded living conditions and stress.

Last year The Rocky Show Circus was asked to leave a festival in Texas after a major sponsor threatened to back out.

Even with this controversy Florida officials have their “hands tied” until Martinez commits another infraction they can act on. In the meantime PETA will continue to fight on behalf of Rocky.

Below is an amateur video filmed in 2009 of The Rocky Show Circus.  Do you consider this act, animal cruelty?


Related Stories:

UK Unanimously Votes For Circus Ban

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Photo from flying cloud via flickr.


Mark R.
Mark R6 years ago

John D, I'd send you a star if I could. I agree, at least in this video, the kangaroo doesn't seem forced into it. Seems rather to be playing around much as I might with my dog. But of course this is only one video and even if they are good to the animal, not everyone necessarily is, so in the big picture I would definitely favour a ban. And of course, as others have pointed out, even one unintentional kick from those legs could cause a world of trouble.

Sheri P.
Sheri P6 years ago


Debra M.
Debra G6 years ago

It is ridiculous to make this poor animal do these tricks. Notice the black on the feet? Those are hard toes/toenails that are used to protect itself against predators should it get caught, and they can do some serious damage. If the kangaroo hurts anyone, who gets punished? The kangaroo. These guys need a real job.

Carrie Anne Brown

Poor Rocky, thanks for sharing, hope they get stopped!

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago

This is animal cruelty and should be banned in all states! Those that allow it have a large blot on their resputations.

John Delia
John D6 years ago

The animal appears to be having fun, but it is relative. It should be in the wild in its natural habitat. I don't believe that any animal should be in captivity for humans to gawk at or use for their pleasure. The only instances in which we may possibly have the right to do so would be to try and help an endangered species have a better chance at long term survival.

Kye J.
michelle m6 years ago

I am an Australian and I find this animal cruelty highly offensive.Kangaroos are not puppets and must not be treated as such. Ban this immediately.

Nancy H.
Nancy H6 years ago

Ideally, no animal should be used by humanity. Though Rocky appears to be "winning"
the fight, his situation is not normal or natural for his species. If he can no longer live
in the wild, he belongs in a refuge where there are other kangaroos and a habitat that is
appropriate for him.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson6 years ago

If, for instance the animal were replaced by a retarded child, what would the state say? I'm in no way suggesting that a kangaroo and a retarded child are the same BUT that CRUELTY is CRUELTY.Baiting ANYTHING to entertain onlookers is cowardly and STUPID .The audience leaves a lot to be desired,too.Maybe they should stand on the sidewalk during a good soaking rain and watch some fool stomp on drowning earth worms.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

STOP !!!!!!