“As much of the media and internet gets swept up in the hysteria of this weekend’s fight, we should not forget that every time a boxer steps into the ring, they run the risk of suffering a fatal injury or sustaining a lifelong disability as a result of brain trauma,” said Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association.
“The medical evidence – supported by the British Medical Association (BMA) and numerous other medical bodies across the world – is clear. In addition to the risk of suffering an acute bleed or bruising to the brain, which can be fatal, the cumulative effects of repeated blows to the head can lead to long-term, neurological damage.
“These risks are shared by all who engage in boxing, regardless of age, whether or not they wear headgear, or if there are doctors at the ringside.
“Put simply, there is no safe form of boxing and it should be banned.
“Sport plays a key role in keeping us fit and healthy, while it can also aid youngsters by promoting discipline and teamwork. But there are numerous sports that help develop such attributes without such excessive risks to their health.
“Contact sports such as rugby and football are rightly under pressure to enforce and strengthen their concussion protocols to ensure participants are appropriately treated when accidental collisions occur. It therefore seems extraordinary that boxing continues to be permitted when blows to the head are inevitable and deliberately inflicted.
“We have seen too many tragedies in the world of boxing. Over the course of the past year alone Maxim Dadashev, Hugo Santillan and Patrick Day all lost their lives due to injuries they sustained in the ring.
“Behind the perceived glamour of the sport and the promises of fame, lives continue to be lost, and young fighters continue to sustain brain injuries that will change their lives – and the lives of their families – forever.”Back