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Headway calls for discussion about concussion protocols in boxing following AJ injury Main Image

Headway calls for discussion about concussion protocols in boxing following AJ injury

Thu 12 Sep 2019

Leading brain injury charity Headway has expressed its concern in regards to concussion in boxing following the most recent incident in a string of unsettling events.

This comes following the shock revelation that Anthony Joshua's coach, Rob McCracken, admitted that he let the heavyweight boxer continue to fight despite knowing he was concussed.

Luke Griggs, Deputy Chief Executive of Headway - the brain injury association, said: "It’s a shocking admission but it’s highly unlikely that this is an isolated incident.

“Trainers have a duty of care to their boxers and it seems clear that Anthony Joshua’s trainer’s sole priority was winning that fight, not protecting the fighter from a potentially fatal injury.

“We know once you’ve had a concussion, any subsequent blow can exacerbate the damage. You are most at risk of having a particularly serious or fatal brain injury if the brain has already been damaged and a concussion has already been sustained.

“In that point, he was particularly vulnerable to a more serious injury. One wonders how many deaths in the ring over the years have resulted from a win-at-all-costs mentality.

“In every other major sport, concussion protocols state that once a concussion has been suspected, the player must be removed and not allowed to return.

“Every blow to the head delivered by a fit, strong, technically gifted boxer has the potential to cause a concussion.

“In addition, boxers are celebrated for their bravery when they just about manage to beat a standing eight-count – during which the referee is tasked with deciding whether or not they’re fit to continue.

“You are basically asking the referee to conduct an impromptu concussion assessment with all these people watching, in too short a period of time and when they are not qualified to do so.

"In such a fast-paced sport, where blows to the head are constant and there’s no time to draw breath and assess the damaged caused, it is hard to see how any effective concussion protocol can be adhered to."

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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