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Head injuries


Scully
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This has been on my mind for some time actually, now and then,  and although I have no idea as to the cause of death of Marvin Hagler, it’s prompted me to write this. 
With all the emphasis on avoiding head injuries in sport , with an awareness now to the possibilities of injury through long term heading of the ball in football, to head contact injuries in rugby through tackling and mauling, I started to wonder why there has been no mention ( that I’m aware of ) of this regarding boxing, and the implications for the sport, when the entire point of the sport is to batter your opponent into submission, often via knockouts? 

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I agree that these days, it's a lot less prevalent compared to rugby or football. Perhaps the difference is that in boxing, it's more assumed that you knew there could be long term issues with standing in the ring with someone who wants to pound your brain into unconsciousness. With football in particular, it seems people are more surprised that there's a possibility of brain damage from repetitive impact injury. All the talking has been done about boxing - as Sam pointed out, the Eubank-Watson fight was significant for that - so maybe boxers are just too aware and too accepting. Free climbers arguably face far greater dangers, their out come is almost exclusively binary: either it all goes fine, or they die. Ultimately, you have to allow people to assess their own acceptance of a detrimental outcome. 

I can't imagine many boxers go into the ring not knowing on at least some level that getting punched in the head is bad for the brain. by the time they reach the pro levels and lose the head gear it should have been banged into their heads often enough!

It's a tough call. At what point is it reasonable to step in and save someone from themselves, even if they've understood and accepted the risks?

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20 minutes ago, sam triple said:

Yes I believe after the Eubank v Watson,  fight and others there were calls for boxing to be banned 

I watched the program  of Eubank interviewed by piers Morgan , Watson was in the audience  , very moving i found it to be , no hate to one or the other  Watson saying it was what it was,  let's move on dont let it dwell inside you . Two men forming a  bond and forgiveness.  Found it very moving .

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Ever seen what happens to the face / head when firing a shotgun and through a slow motion camera?

It’s a little worrying. I would be intrigued to know if there’s a correlation with shooters. I have an uncle who got a detached retina from competitive clay shooting and I wonder how the rest of his bonce has faired 😀

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42 minutes ago, johnphilip said:

I watched the program  of Eubank interviewed by piers Morgan , Watson was in the audience  , very moving i found it to be , no hate to one or the other  Watson saying it was what it was,  let's move on dont let it dwell inside you . Two men forming a  bond and forgiveness.  Found it very moving .

I think this almost chivalrous behaviour is sadly missing in boxing these days. The fighting is almost secondary to a good mud slinging childish outburst at a weigh in session

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I went to a book signing by Chris Eubank and after his talk he asked for questions.

I asked him which fight against which opponent he had enjoyed (the challenge of competing against) the most.

His answer was a very honest "None of them."

Very different from what I expected and very different from asking the same of a cricketer which batsman or bowler he'd most enjoyed playing against.

Edited by enfieldspares
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It's been many years since I learnt to fight.

When I did P Coy it was a brutal one on one with no defence allowed. Often resulting in injury always resulting in blood. But a necessary part of training.

Move on a few years and even the Army recognised the need for head protection.

No fights take place anymore without the absolute minimum protection. Injuries still happen, its the nature of the beast but you can't expect Parachute Regiment soldiers to not be taught to fight.

I think that outside the Paras amateur boxers now wear head protection also. Professional boxers and MMA fighters not, but I think that's for the crowds to see blood and nothing to do with safety. 

Before and after head protection pictures, maybe still not enough:

 

20210314_110113.jpg

20210314_110044.jpg

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1 hour ago, chrisjpainter said:

Free climbers arguably face far greater dangers, their out come is almost exclusively binary: either it all goes fine, or they die. Ultimately, you have to allow people to assess their own acceptance of a detrimental outcome. 

Those guys are nuts, I can understand that climbing without ropes is great, I love bouldering or scrambling, but that documentary on channel 4 a while back with the free climber was edge of the seat , especially when he said how many friends had died climbing. 

Boxers know what they are doing and except the risks, concussion is a much bigger deal these days in sport, kids don't head football's.

Have a watch of the American football film with Will Smith,  think it's called concussion?

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

This has been on my mind for some time actually, now and then,  and although I have no idea as to the cause of death of Marvin Hagler, it’s prompted me to write this. 
With all the emphasis on avoiding head injuries in sport , with an awareness now to the possibilities of injury through long term heading of the ball in football, to head contact injuries in rugby through tackling and mauling, I started to wonder why there has been no mention ( that I’m aware of ) of this regarding boxing, and the implications for the sport, when the entire point of the sport is to batter your opponent into submission, often via knockouts? 

I think its only a matter of time before boxing is banned, slowly followed by all other contact sports, we live in a world where decisions are being made by those with the loudest self righteous voice. individual choice will be denied

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The point is boxers know the damage that is done and accept the risks.

The other sports head injury is now known about and been highlighted.  Heading a football wouldn't have been a factor years ago. 

Knocks in rugby too were expo as part of playing, but as players get fitter more muscular and faster the injuries sustained are like car crash victims. Hence the head traumas are coming to light more.

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3 hours ago, islandgun said:

I think its only a matter of time before boxing is banned, slowly followed by all other contact sports, we live in a world where decisions are being made by those with the loudest self righteous voice. individual choice will be denied

I was thinking more of how do you teach youngsters to box nowadays? Are they allowed to punch to the head and face? 🤷‍♂️
My lad wasn’t allowed to head a ball during football and was banned from rugby due to a retinal eye problem, but I believe it is more common for youngsters nowadays to be told not to head a ball. 
I’m all for freedom of choice regarding adults participating in any and all dangerous sports they choose to. 

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15 minutes ago, Scully said:

I’m all for freedom of choice regarding adults participating in any and all dangerous sports they choose to. 

I am with you here, but on the proviso they do not expect the rest of us to pick up the tab when it goes wrong.

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

I was thinking more of how do you teach youngsters to box nowadays? Are they allowed to punch to the head and face? 🤷‍♂️
My lad wasn’t allowed to head a ball during football and was banned from rugby due to a retinal eye problem, but I believe it is more common for youngsters nowadays to be told not to head a ball. 
I’m all for freedom of choice regarding adults participating in any and all dangerous sports they choose to. 

punch slowly..😴 .agree with freedom of choice. Its a slippery slope to make participants have insurance to cover rescuing and hospital treatment,  "sorry can't rescue you, your insurance is only third party "  got to be better to let everyone get on with their lives and we will do our best to help you if it goes **** up

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6 hours ago, figgy said:

 

Knocks in rugby too were expo as part of playing, but as players get fitter more muscular and faster the injuries sustained are like car crash victims. Hence the head traumas are coming to light more.

Good point, when Johna Lomu arrived he was the exception,  now the norm... one of the collisions yesterday knocked maro itoje back about 2Metres, must have like being hit by a car ...

Edited by PPP
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I used to box and kickbox when I was a lot younger, never was a exceptional boxer/kickboxer but I enjoyed it immensely and trained 5-6 days a week over a 15 year period. I do slur occasionally and think it's down to the repeated head contact, still I knew what I was getting into so it's on me. Wouldn't allow my kids to do it though,, heads too precious and I've seen enough to know that you don't want to be punched in the head repeatedly. 

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13 hours ago, chrisjpainter said:

I agree that these days, it's a lot less prevalent compared to rugby or football. Perhaps the difference is that in boxing, it's more assumed that you knew there could be long term issues with standing in the ring with someone who wants to pound your brain into unconsciousness. With football in particular, it seems people are more surprised that there's a possibility of brain damage from repetitive impact injury. All the talking has been done about boxing - as Sam pointed out, the Eubank-Watson fight was significant for that - so maybe boxers are just too aware and too accepting. Free climbers arguably face far greater dangers, their out come is almost exclusively binary: either it all goes fine, or they die. Ultimately, you have to allow people to assess their own acceptance of a detrimental outcome. 

I can't imagine many boxers go into the ring not knowing on at least some level that getting punched in the head is bad for the brain. by the time they reach the pro levels and lose the head gear it should have been banged into their heads often enough!

It's a tough call. At what point is it reasonable to step in and save someone from themselves, even if they've understood and accepted the risks?

Boxers do it for the money, and potentially its huge money. Live for today and the bright lights, let tomorrow worry about itself is probably the way they see it.

They all come from humble backgrounds where the life choices are few, they are expendables

There is talk, mind you its only talk, of the British football banning head contact with the ball but money talks louder than H&S.. S0D the players, whats the effect on TV revenue???

As a previous (almost, not quite) top level rugby player for a number of years in my youth, I would like to flag up the sport's guilty secret, spinal injuries. You just try to get the RFU to acknowledge, much less discuss this.

My old mentor and friend Tommy Kemp, former President of the RFU , ex international and a Professor of medicine at St Mary's Hospital Paddington, he fought and lost the spinal injuries battle decades back, argueing for players to wear spinal braces thirty odd years ago, taking rugby closer to American football.  That went down like a ton of bricks .  

Edited by Vince Green
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I’m not sure anyone was unaware that head injuries and impact during boxing could cause issues in later life 😳

 

Many sports however have changed drastically over the years. 
 

Look back at the old British and Irish Lions matches. Average sized men of about 12-14 stone, most of them had normal jobs and just paid rugby on the weekends. You’d get the odd big prop. 
 

These days we have professional athlete's, earning large sums of money and are without doubt taking huge amount of performance enhancing drugs. I’ve witnessed this first hand.  
 

These days we have players in the backs of the game pushing body weight that in the past only a prop would display whilst others are pushing over 20 stone... and they are all lean, athletic and fast. 
 

Getting hit in contact in modern sport is not compatible to back in the day. No wonder people are getting significant injuries these days. 

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5 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

I’m not sure anyone was unaware that head injuries and impact during boxing could cause issues in later life 😳

 

Many sports however have changed drastically over the years. 
 

Look back at the old British and Irish Lions matches. Average sized men of about 12-14 stone, most of them had normal jobs and just paid rugby on the weekends. You’d get the odd big prop. 
 

These days we have professional athlete's, earning large sums of money and are without doubt taking huge amount of performance enhancing drugs. I’ve witnessed this first hand.  
 

These days we have players in the backs of the game pushing body weight that in the past only a prop would display whilst others are pushing over 20 stone... and they are all lean, athletic and fast. 
 

Getting hit in contact in modern sport is not compatible to back in the day. No wonder people are getting significant injuries these days. 

I wasn’t inferring people were unaware, simply that apart from a tragedy it doesn’t seem to get the same coverage whenever as football or rugby when being discussed on the news, and certainly not recently. 
I suppose head guards could be used, but I always felt being hit hard while wearing one had a more concussive effect than when not wearing one. Perhaps that was just me. 🙂

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It gets quite a lot of coverage at children's level. My wife forbade me from starting my boys at the boxing club due to potential brain damage and reduced IQ. There are many studies mainly involving Thai boxing etc. When my boy fractured his skull last year with a bleed on his brain it made me see everything differently. I’m not even sure about rugby anymore. It is only anecdotal but one of the architects who works for me has shocking memory. He puts it down to the many concussions he’s suffered from rugby. In one game getting knocked out twice. This is all at under 18 level. He’s 25 now. 

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13 hours ago, WalkedUp said:

I’m not even sure about rugby anymore.

There's a school photograph of me...and everybody else...from 1969. One of the boys was called Toby Clarke. I havenow corrected the dates. It was longer ago than I thought. I was eleven then. he was in the Upper Sixth. The school was big on rugby. Obsessed. Indeed formal soccer was banned. I played in six years only three formal soccer matches (all annual "one off" pupils vs staff) but rugby was played twice a week. He can be recognised and seen easily as his head is shaved. He played rugby and struck his head on the upright of the posts and damaged his skull and his brain. His head is shaved as he had just returned to school after various medical procedures resulting from it. A few weeks later...maybe a month or so...he was dead.

Edited by enfieldspares
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Posted (edited)

I played union for my school team and in the cadets; soccer wasn’t played at all at my school. There was no consideration given nor expected for head safety; it just wasn’t done in the ‘70’s. 
Even in the ‘80’s when I started karate there was no consideration ( apart from gum shields and padded mitts ) for head injuries. Saying that, back in the ‘80’s there was little mention or awareness of dementia either, but I doubt the science existed then to relate one with the other. 

Edited by Scully
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