Feature | Aug 18 2019

The key steps we must take to improve the safety of boxing

The safety of boxing is often called into question. Jack Hirsch identifies some steps that should be taken to make the sport safer
Nigel Benn
Nigel Benn can never be as good as he once was

The case for improving the safety of boxing
THE phone rang and the caller ID let me know it was a friend of mine, a former undisputed world champion (whose name I would rather not reveal) I had spoken to just 20 minutes earlier. But when I picked up, he had no recollection of our conversation. I have known the former champion for decades and have witnessed his condition deteriorate. His long-term memory is fine, but short-term it is gone.

On numerous occasions I have seen him at boxing events where he forgot where he had parked his car. Making plans to do something with him is futile being that he won’t remember beyond a few minutes what had been discussed. It is the price he is now paying for achieving his dream.

Unfortunately, the longer one boxes the more likely they are to exit the sport in far worse condition than when they entered. The scary part is that the effects of the punches might not become evident until after they retire, when even the greatest boxers in history like Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali were adversely affected.


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