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Punisher
4/10/2004 5:36am,
I just posted a story about a pro boxer who died from injuries suffered in the ring.

Several of the articles about the incident said something like:


Rickman's death was the first attributed to boxing in Georgia since May 28, 1903, when George Feeley died after a bout, also in Savannah, according to the Journal of Combative Sports.

I looked up the Journal of Combative Sports ( turns out it's actually Sport, not Sports) in google and was really impressed with what I found. The JCS has an article with amazely complete boxing death statistics and detail analysis.

Apparently the was a man named Manuel Velazquez who thought boxing was too dangerous so he researched and kept boxing death statistics until his death in 1994. Before his death he passed on his research to others who keep it up.

This record documents around 1,200 boxing fatalities from as far back as 1741, 500 or so of which that have occured since 1950. One table lists fights in chronological order and gives background info, detail, and even links stories about many of the fights.

Here's a link to the article, I highly recommend interested people check it out:
http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsframe.htm

Spunky
4/10/2004 2:02pm,
I'm interested at the consistent trends in cause-of-death. The prevalent scenerio seems to be death from concussion or hemmoraging, or slamming the head after a KO. However, in the earliest fights many of the cases were details were listed indicated loss-of-life from blows to the temple, heart, and below the ear. Injuries such as broken ribs and arms were also more common. These latter types of injuries are almost completely absent in 20th century bouts, where fighters died from general trauma days after the fight (even discounting those attributed or compounded by extenuating health conditions).

Most deaths were accompanied by manslaughter convictions. How is this delt with today? Are contenders held responsible for the deaths of their opponents? What about in private training?

GajusCaesar
4/10/2004 4:05pm,
Great article, Punisher. That's an extremely interesting and informative resource.

Punisher
4/10/2004 6:20pm,
I'm interested at the consistent trends in cause-of-death. The prevalent scenerio seems to be death from concussion or hemmoraging, or slamming the head after a KO. However, in the earliest fights many of the cases were details were listed indicated loss-of-life from blows to the temple, heart, and below the ear. Injuries such as broken ribs and arms were also more common. These latter types of injuries are almost completely absent in 20th century bouts, where fighters died from general trauma days after the fight (even discounting those attributed or compounded by extenuating health conditions).

Most deaths were accompanied by manslaughter convictions. How is this delt with today? Are contenders held responsible for the deaths of their opponents? What about in private training?

I think there are a lot of factors at work here. First of all boxing was nothing like boxing as we know it until around the 1900's when The Marquis of Queensberry Rules started to be widely used. Until then, people didn't use gloves and didn't fight in rings as we know them. There's been debate over whether gloves make boxing more or less dangerous, but it certainly makes it different. A lot of people died hitting their heads on ring posts and stuff.

The other thing to realize is the there have been massive changes in medicene and health. Pre 20th century doctors weren't all that good and the fighters themselves probably weren't all that healthy. They definitely didn't get a thorough prefight physical and best of after care. Accurate causes of death likely were determined.

As for the legal reprecussions, I can only assume that in the old days people thought if was impossible to be killed in a "friendly" boxing match, and if someone dies, someone had to have done something wrong someone had to be held responsible.

Nowadays a doctor that cleared a unfit fighter to fight might be open to a lawsuit, along with the promoter for no taken appropriate safety measures, but I've never heard of criminal action being taken. Remember the goal of the sport is to hit and injure your opponent, rendering him unconcious. Even in other sports where fighting and injuring your opponent is against the rules, hockey comes to mind, it takes something pretty over the top to get legal authorities involved. I mean Todd Bertuzzi attacked Steve Moore from behind and broke his neck and he wasn't arrested. Athletes routinely do things on the field, court, or rink that would get them arrested and thrown in jail on the street or at home.