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The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
December 26, 2000

Bruno on Boxing   - by Joe Bruno, Former President of the Boxing Writers Association 

News item: British Boxer Paul Ingle in coma after title fight.  The usual worms call for the abolition of boxing.

It happens every time.

A boxer gets serious hurt in the ring, and out from under every conceivable rock comes the predictable cry “Let’s Ban Boxing”.

On Saturday night,  December 16, at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield England, IBF featherweight champ Paul Ingle collapsed in the ring after being knocked out 20 seconds.

Ingle was floored late in the 11th round by three vicious left hooks. His brave trainer, Steve Pollard, admitted it was a mistake to let Ingle fight the 12th round.

"In hindsight he should have been pulled out at the end of the 11th. But we haven't got that gift," Pollard said. "He came and sat down and I asked him if he was OK and he said he was. I told him he was losing the fight and he said I'm going to go out and stop him.  He was totally coherent and understood everything that was going on. I had no trepidation in sending him back out."

Yeah right. A guy who had just taken a beating for 11 rounds was “totally coherent” and “understood everything that was going on.” But more on that later.

Seconds into the 12th and final round,  Ingle was floored by a vicious left uppercut. Referee Dave Parris immediately waved his hands over his head, stopping the fight. Ingle was surrounded by his cornermen and appeared to be regaining his senses. Then he then lost consciousness and had to be attended to by three paramedics at ringside, where he was given oxygen,  then taken to the Northern General Hospital. Ingle was later transferred to Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital for a two–an–a–half–hour operation to remove a
blood clot on the brain.

As of this writing, Ingle has opened his eyes and seems to be making improvement.  But he certainly will never fight again.

Then the cockroaches stating coming out of the corners. The first was the British Medical Association.

A spokeswoman for the British Medical Association said: "There are many sporting activities that carry a danger but what's unique about boxing is that the whole point of the sport is to render your opponent unconscious and that leads to brain damage.The BMA finds it impossible to justify deliberately causing damage to the brain and the eye. The effects are cumulative so the more often you fight the more chance you have of being injured.”

"We have a very long standing policy of opposing boxing. We would ultimately like to see it banned but it will only happen if there's a change in the law and in public opinion.”

A cooler talking-head was Simon Block, of the British Boxing Board of Control. Block said injury was part of the sport. "To say it should be banned, when there are far more dangerous sports out there, is ridiculous,"
he said. "I didn't hear much from the BMA when five people died three-day eventing.”

Whatever three-day eventing is. But it sure sounds dangerous.

The next slugs to chime in for the abolition of boxing was the World Medical Association  which operates out of Geneva, Switzerland.

Doctors and numbered bank accounts? Could be a connection.

Delon Human, secretary-general of the World Medical Association, said, “Boxing is quite unlike any other sport in that the basic intent is to cause bodily harm to the opponent. It is impossible to participate in boxing
without being hurt. It cannot fairly be described as a sport; it is simply a barbaric practice.”

And this guy calls himself “Human?”

But the best and brassiest remarks came from Paul Flynn,   the Labour MP for Newport West, who said he would try to abolish the legal protection afforded to fighters in a Private Members Bill.  “Allowing boxers to be charged with assault or even murder would discourage blows to the head and could lead to a rule change,” Flynn said.

That’s right, dumbo. Now let’s arrest all boxers who actually hit their opponents with their gloved fists.

Why don’t we just give the fighters water balloons instead? But then these morons would then try to figures out a way to ban water balloons too. Maybe even ban water, you idiots.

British Sports Minister  Kate Hoey hit the nail on the old head when she said talk of banning boxing is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction from a bunch of pompous jerks. My words not hers.

Ms Hoey actually said, “We recognize boxing is a dangerous sport, like any other sport, and we do not think it should be banned. All sport to a certain extent is risky. There are a lot of people who don't like boxing, and I understand that. I happen to think amateur boxing in particular is very, very important and good for young people, and I have been involved in it in my own constituency. But I think it is very important that the people who don't like the sport realize banning it would not necessarily help because what would happen in lots of areas is it would go underground. To come out now and call for a ban on boxing is not really the way that I believe we should be having a rational discussion about it,''

Ah. A rational discussion. What a unique idea.

The fact is Ms. Hoey is right. Ban boxing and people will be fighting on barges like they did at the end of the 19th century. No regulation. No ringside doctors. No paramedics. And no nearby ambulances.

The fact is, what happened to Paul Ingle could have only been prevented by his brave corner, who tapped him on his rear end, and sent him out for the 12th and final round, with his only chance of victory being his opponent being taken out by a sniper’s bullet. Brave trainers and brave managers kill more fighters than brain-scrambling left hooks, or right crosses to the  chops.

How about this for a new rule change? The next time a fighter, who has already taken a beating in a fight, is sent out for final round that sends him into a coma, or makes him meet his maker sooner than was required, charge that fighter’s entire corner with a crime.

Make the corner face a judge and jury. Let the judge and jury decided the seriousness of the corner’s crime, the proper culpability and what the suitable punishment should be.

Do that and brave corners will become extinct. Less fighters will be seriously hurt, and that’s exactly what right minded boxing people are trying to do, without simplemindedly banning the sport.

But to do this takes balls on the part of people with the power.

John McCain, where are you when we really need you?

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