Death of Scottish boxer brings out fresh calls for boxing ban

Medical professionals are claiming that the sport should be banned

BY Sinéad Farrell 15:31 Saturday 1 October 2016, 15:31 1 Oct 2016

Medics are calling for boxing to be banned after Mike Towell passed away last night following injuries sustained in a boxing match which caused internal bleeding.

Towell fell down in the first round but remained in the fight until a fifth-round stoppage defeat to Dale Evans. He was later stretchered out of the ring before being transferred to hospital where he died 24 hours later. 

His death comes just weeks after the boxing management of Kell Brook was criticised by boxing fans for throwing in the towel to protect their fighter from further harm in a fight against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin which had already caused a broken eye socket. Seven months ago, Nick Blackwell announced his retirement from boxing after surviving bleeding in his skull as a result of injuries sustained in a fight against Chris Eubank Jr.

Following the tragic death of Mike Towell, medical experts and politicians have renewed their calls for boxing to be banned.

Peter McCabe, chief executive of the brain injury charity Headway, said:

"This was a young father in the prime of his life and quite rightly, the focus at this time should be on supporting the family. But the question remains: how many more lives have to be damaged or lost before this senseless sport is banned? As long as boxing is allowed to continue, more and more young lives will be damaged or lost as a result of opponents deliberately trying to cause neurological harm to each other."

Recently, representatives from both the British Medical Association (BMA) and World Medical Association (WMA) have also made similar statements. Dr Otmar Kloiber of the WMA explained how repeated hits to the head can cause damage to the brain.

"By hitting your head time after time after time, it has been shown there are alterations in the brain. We are more and more aware that this is silently going on and producing damage to the brain."

Dr Bennet Omalu, who spoke on Off The Ball earlier this year to talk about his work in exposing concussion hazards in American Football, also mentioned the dangers that boxing can pose for people.

He said it is "our moral duty to stop endangering our children by intentionally exposing them to high-impact contact sports at a young age."


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