Feature | Nov 23 2019

The Whipping Post: Why are boxers fighting less and getting injured more?

Boxers don't fight anywhere near as often as they did in years gone by and yet their bodies break down more and more. Terry Dooley investigates why
David Haye
David-Haye  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

COMMON convention would have us believe that modern fighters suffer more injuries than their counterparts from days gone by. There is a school of thought that says “They don’t make ‘em like they used to”, a cousin of “Things were much better back in the past”, and it appears that for many there is a strong case to be made for the idea that, despite the presence of a multitude of coaches, conditioners, rehabilitators, and other scientific wrinkles, fighters are just not as physically hardy as they once were.

Could this be down to a simple of case of far too much learning being applied to a sport that, at its base, is founded on toughness and physical robustness, and that modern-day fighters have honed their bodies to the point where every tweak or strain becomes an injury and therefore ample reason to postpone a fight?

“You asked if it is question of being too finely-tuned, in my opinion it is the case that too many modern athletes are over-trained,” stated physiotherapist Stuart Cosgrove when exploring the issue with Boxing News. Cosgrove helped Ricky Hatton get extra extension on his left arm and still works with people within the trade.


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