To many people all over the world, boxing is one of the most fascinating sports to watch. Many people all over the world take to boxing as a means of livelihood. Boxers are trained to hit the face, front part of the head and the body.
One of the factors that make boxing one of the most dangerous sports in the world is receiving blows to the head. Head is the most important part of human body. It houses the brain which is like the central processing unit for the entire body.
Receiving blows to the head persistently is like subjecting the central processing unit of a computer system to a continuous damage. Some of the injuries commonly suffered by boxers include head injury, body damage, eye injuries and brain diseases.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 90% of professional boxers sustain a traumatic brain injury during their career. A blow to the head can cause bone fractures, brain tissue damage, damage to the surface of the brain, bleeding or clots of blood within the brain.
Boxers suffer both acute and chronic brain traumatic injuries. The most common type of Acute Brain Traumatic Injuries (ATBI) in boxing is cerebral concussion. Other similar moderate to severe brain injuries in boxing include subdural hematoma (SDH), cerebral contusion (CC), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), epidural hematoma (EDH), or diffuse axonal injury (DAI), although not common.
For the chronic brain injury, it is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is also associated with other contact sports like Martial Arts and American football. Its symptoms include short-term memory loss, mood changes, increasing confusion and disorientation; difficulty thinking.
As the condition progresses, further symptoms may include: slurred speech (dysarthria), significant memory problems, parkinsonism – the typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including tremor, slow movement and muscle stiffness, difficulty eating or swallowing (dysphagia) – although this is rare. (www.hns.uk)
There are reports of many boxers who went into coma as a result of severe brain injuries they suffered during their fights. One of such boxers is Gerald McClellan, an American former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 1995. He is a two-time middleweight world champion, having held the WBO title from 1991 to 1992, and the WBC title from 1993 to 1995.
He spent eleven days in a coma and was found to have suffered extensive brain damage during his final fight in 1995. He had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He lost his eyesight, the ability to walk unassisted, and was reported as being 80 percent deaf. (Wikipedia)
Another boxer who suffered a similar fate is Prichard Colon, a former American boxer, honorary WBC World Champion, and gold medal winner at the 2010 Pan-American Youth Championship in the 64 kg category. After his fight against Terrel Williams in 2015, Colón was vomiting and was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with brain bleeding.
As a result, Colón went into a coma for 221 days. After he woke up from coma, he had remained in a persistent vegetative state. He actually received a series of rabbit punches from Williams during the fight. (Wikipedia)
In boxing, a rabbit punch typically refers to a punch to the back of an opponent’s head, the base of the skull or the back of the neck. It is illegal.
In another report of a boxing fight, the brain of one of the boxers was detached from his skull by powerful blows from his opponent. He died as a result.
Significant internal abdominal injuries (like injuries to the liver, kidney, pancreas, and intestines) are also there in boxing but they are uncommon. Visceral organ injury represents approximately 10-15% of all boxing-induced trauma. (www.sportsci.org)
It has been reported that since 1890 more than 1,876 fighters have died as a result of injuries sustained in the ring. (supersports.com, 2022)
List of deaths due to injuries sustained in boxing are as follows. (Wikipedia)
So, boxing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. If you’re into boxing, do more to protect yourself. If you’re thinking of going into boxing, think twice and be prepared for the consequences. Watch how Mike Tyson destroyed some of his opponents.
Check what a punch to the head looks like in the video below.
Photo Credits: www.afordablemri.com, www.sportinglife.com, www.boxrec.com Video Credit: ElTerribleProduction, dewayne Gore