Issue | Opinion | Premium | Nov 12 2019

What can boxing learn from its latest tragedy?

In his latest column, John Scully explores what boxing can learn from the death of Dwight Ritchie and questions the qualifications of the sport's coaches
Dwight Ritchie

I UNDERSTAND the concern of people when tragedies like this happen. I understand the emotion and the call for change. But the fact is that there are thousands of rounds of sparring across the world every single day of the week without incident. The number of deaths and serious injuries in relation to the actual number of fights and sparring sessions that take place is miniscule.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t stop trying to progress and improve. We must look closely at the gyms and what goes on in them. In certain parts of the world – and this is not in relation to Dwight and his team – the qualifications to become a licensed trainer on both the amateur and the professional levels are a joke. A literal joke.

I know for a fact that there are coaches and trainers in gyms across the world who simply do not have the experience or the knowledge to be holding a boxer’s life in their hands. You cannot argue with them, though, because they have a paid for piece of paper that some commission told them they are qualified to possess. That enables them to oversee sparring and fighters from a seat at ringside in the corner of the fighter. 


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