Boxing Hazards: Low Blows, Head butts and Parkinson’s

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Kevin lole of Yahoo sports reported in his column that the Vic Darchinyan-Jorge Arce fight held at the Honda Center was a one-sided fight. He was suggesting that one-sided fights need quicker stoppages.

Boxing enthusiasts would definitely agree with Kevin on his thoughts about one-sided matches. Fight referees will know during the fight and at certain rounds when the fight appears to be one-sided.

In the case of the boxing match between Vic Darchinyan and Jorge Arce that was held at the Honda Center last February 8, 2009, it was very clear that Jorge Arce was losing the game from early rounds to past halfway of the 12 rounder fight. Darchinyan was dominating the fight from all angles and he inflicted so much damage on Arce both in the body and the head. The referee could have stopped the fight to save Arce from continued attack on the head and body by Darchinyan.

On the 11th round, the ring physician finally instructed the referee to stop the fight. Fight fans agreed with Kevin that it was a one-sided fight from the very start and should have been stopped by the referee much earlier in the round.

True enough, Arce was hurt and rushed to a nearby hospital in a stretcher after the fight was stopped on the 11th round. He was apparently complaining of about pain at the back of his head. Arce was later released from the hospital early Sunday morning. He admitted that he felt ‘unbalanced’ following the post fight conference.

Head butts and power blows that land on boxer’s head have devastating effect on the brain of boxers when the blows hit certain areas of the head. The effect of these power blows may not show while the boxer is actively fighting but it could affect the brain which, in most cases, leads to Parkinson’s disease.

Some of the world’s most popular boxers, including Muhammad Ali have contracted Parkinson’s disease as a result of too many power head blows, though the some studies have not provided conclusive findings linking repeated head blows on boxers to Parkinson’s diseases.

Adriana Stuijt wrote in her article published by Digital Journal said: ‘Many die young, beaten up to a pulp, or end up with permanent brain and eye damage. Often they suffered early dementia from brain damage, and boxers often suffer much sooner than other people their age of early-aging diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease’.

In her article about the health hazards of boxing, Adriana cited several instances where young boxers have died because of the brain damages caused by powerful head blows.

Recent developments in boxing that touched on the health hazards of the trade have been widely publicized. On top of the many cases cited by Adriana in her article, other disturbing developments related to the game of boxing have recently surfaced. A case in point is the recent discovery by the California Sports Commission of a certain substance that was placed inside the gloves of Antonio Margarito in his recent fight with Shane Mosley, most probably to gain an advantage in his favor.

If not for the vigilance of the California Sports regulators, the substance that the Margarito camp inserted inside Margarito’s gloves could have caused Mosley’s life. Margarito and his trainer have been found guilty and suspended from professional boxing fights in the state of California for one year.

Since boxing as a form of sports is legal in almost all countries of the world, concerned citizens can only do so much. The better option is perhaps to repeal the applicable laws or declare boxing as a form of sports as illegal.

In the meantime, governments must be vigilant and very strict about the implementation of all laws related to the game of boxing. Regulating agencies must be held accountable for any injuries or deaths that may occur as a result of negligence on the part of boxing referees, trainers, managers, promoters and other personalities that are involved in the game.


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