Monday 11 December 2017

Boxing 'a bad idea', says doctor in wake of fighter's death

Fatal punch: Mike Towell Photo: Dundee Boxing Club/PA Wire
Fatal punch: Mike Towell Photo: Dundee Boxing Club/PA Wire

Georgina Stubbs

Boxing has been branded a "very bad idea" by a world-leading doctor following the death of a 25-year-old fighter.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said injuries from the contact sport can include brain damage, acute brain haemorrhage and eye, ear and nose damage.

Welterweight boxer Mike Towell died on Friday following a bout in Glasgow the day before. His death has reignited discussion about the dangers of the sport.

Along with the BMA, the World Medical Association (WMA) has, over many years, called for boxing to be banned, saying it is a "dangerous sport".

Dr Otmar Kloiber, the secretary general for the WMA, told the Press Association that medical studies show "boxing is producing or can produce serious harm".

He said: "It is very clear that the ongoing concussions you get, alters brain function and can also lead to immediately serious conditions."

Dr Kloiber said there are two main types of injuries with trauma to the head, the first being a knock or hit which results in small bleedings around or in the brain that develop over time.

"What then happens is that the pressure within the skull is building up and compresses the brain down to the brain stem, which finally kills you."

But he said the other problem is the "chronic impact", adding: "If there is no immediate damage the next day or immediately, by hitting your head time after time after time it has been shown there are alterations in the brain."

Sunday Independent

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