THE sad news about the death of Argentina’s Hugo Santillan (19-6-2, 8 KOs) was the second sobering reminder in the space of a week of just how dangerous boxing can be and why people who break the rules should be dealt with harshly. The 23-year-old died last night after sustaining injuries against Eduardo Javier Abreu (10-1-1, 6 early) in a split draw that took place in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.
Santillan fainted post-fight and was rushed to hospital, where he fell into a coma, never woke up, and became the second fatality in a bad week for the sport. “Upon admission to the hospital, he had successive kidney failure and he did not come out of his coma,” stated Dr Graciela Olocco of Hospital Agudos San Felipe. “He had swelling of his brain and he never recovered consciousness. The swelling continued to worsen and it affected the functioning of the rest of his organs.”
The news was met with some calls to ban the sport — one person has started a Change.org petition, although at the time of writing he was the only person who has signed it — with the “arguments” for a ban once again being either non-existent or poorly put together. It is a fundamentally flawed position born out of the ignorant “I don’t like this, it should be banned” mind-set that prevails in society.