Death in the ring?
Por Hilmar Rojas Erazo 22/11/2013
Although deaths, resulting of sports practice are not very common, recent events make us think otherwise, at least with boxing. The death of Francisco Leal brought back the painful issue to the table.
Leal joined the sad list of those who after being knocked out by Raul Hirales. After allegations of medical malpractice, the family opted to donate the organs of the fighter after disconnecting the machine in the hospital. This was a laudable decision in such a difficult time.
In less than a moth, the Russian Magomed Abdusalamov enters a clinic after a fight to undergo a surgical procedure to remove a blood clot in his head. He is in induced coma, and we all pray for his recovery, we all hope for a good outcome.
Then, two fighters more, same day but in different continents also underwent surgical procedure and are still fighting for their lives. Jose Carmona, who was knocked out by former champion Jorge “Travieso” Arce in Mexico, and New Zealand’s Daniel McKinnon, who lost by the same route to your countryman Robert Berridge. We pray for their recovery.
According to estimates made by different studies, it is believed that deaths resulted from boxing fights are not as many as people think because of the difficulty of the sport.
Although some dare say that every year more than a dozen fighters are killed on the ring, this number is not confirmed nor is accurate because it does not count amateur and professional fights held in the world every year, or does it?
There are not official records or a health organization that keeps accurate database with this information, for this reason the number are closer to the speculation than to reality regarding death by punching. However, dehydration to make the weight or inappropriate training is more responsible for what happens than punching itself.
Despite this, the history has sad examples. In 1930, Frankie Campbell died after a fight with Max Baer, who was charged with murder, but was acquitted.
Korean Duk Koo Kim died in 1982 after fighting with Ray “Boom Boom’’. After that the WBA change the number of rounds from 15 to 12.
Mancini, after that experience, reflects on what happened and makes to important approaches, “lower the number of rounds is not the solution. What will happen in 15 will happen in 12 or 10 or less rounds. Same thing occurs with the weigh in 24 hours before the fight or the same day”.
He states that ill-prepared boxer will have problem making the weight, “we need to raise awareness and make sure they understand, they must commit themselves to training, their health and their life itself.”
Neither boxing nor the punches are the murderer. They are incidental cases, sometimes triggered by bad conditions or health problems not detected in time.
These are the news nobody wants to read, know, or give. The danger is present in all the activities we do on our daily life, some have higher risk than others, but we can not label as guilty to a sport, whatever.