WBC establishes probe body in bid to wipe out ring deaths
JEJU, South Korea |
JEJU, South Korea (Reuters) - Boxing chiefs are to establish a new body to examine ring deaths and serious injuries in a bid to prevent ring tragedies.
A new World Boxing Council committee will draw diverse strands of information together when an accident occurs, to build up a picture which will yield warning signs to heed and act upon, the WBC's annual convention in Jeju heard.
A questionnaire taking in trainers, seconds, managers, referees, judges, doctors and hospitals already exists, but a more complete and sophisticated next step is vital, WBC medical advisory committee chairman Dr Paul Wallace said.
"We're not interested in trying to place the blame on anyone," he told Reuters. "What we want to do is look over a long period of time, and figure out if there's any common similarities and trends.
"This would involve feeding chunks of information into a computer database to compile a dossier of jigsaw pieces.
"One of the things we found out when we did a study in California, was that the most common factor in fatalities was having fathers in the corner. It's a factor which is clearly an association, and that piece of information might be helpful for doctors and the referee, when the time comes when the fight should continue."
WBC medical chief Dr Gerald Finerman says factors under focus will include whether preparation was good enough, time taken to reach hospital, or whether a fighter had flouted rules by accepting a bout after being previously and recently knocked out.
The WBC has already pioneered a number of measures including reducing championship bouts from 15 to 12 rounds and insisting on weigh-ins one month, one week, and 24 hours before the match.
WBC President Jose Sulaiman said this latest initiative will involve intelligent planning and sensitive application.
"The main responsibility of a boxing commissioner is to look for safety. Everything else can be repaired, but the health and life of boxer can't," he added.
(Editing by Ossian Shine. To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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