ROUND 12: WHAT IS WORTH MORE, BLOOD & POPULARITY OR HEALTH AND INTEGRITY OF ATHLETES?
It is a reality that violence is an integral part of young people’s lives today. The common thing is to find violence in any recreational activity. Video games are full of it, shots, frank shooters, blood everywhere; Movies and television series are another immediate means to satisfy that thirst for caged aggressiveness in society and how about the news!
Sports also suffer from this phenomenon. I remember how the NHL, America’s hockey league, had to modify its rules so that the television audience, as well as the fans in the arenas, would return to see that sport. The NHL had set very strict rules against fighting between players. Eventually the pressure from television and from the teams themselves, led them to modify the regulations and once again allow fights between the players; Blood and violence returned and that is how fans and television ratings returned.
How about the way social networks explode when there is a fight in baseball or on the soccer field? We all see each other again and immediately forward those links to all our chat contacts.
These two boxers just fought in 110 rounds! Yes, you read that right, 110 rounds (7 hours, 19 minutes of combat!) It
was April 6, 1893, Andy Browen and Jack Burke. The fight ended in a No-Contest because on the call of round 111 the two exhausted boxers were unable to get up to resume the fight.
This is, of course, the longest boxing match ever!
Violence is big business.
Boxing is the only sport that has dramatically evolved and changed its basic structure. What we see today above a ring is dramatically different from what boxing was in its beginnings. Our sport was born in England. It was a barbaric, inhuman activity and many lives were lost over many decades. There were no limits to anything, the fights were scheduled for an unlimited number of rounds, human resistance was put to the limit and many fights ended when one of the contestants simply died right there. The fighters fought with bare hands, there were no gloves, the damages that were generated were dramatic, the referees were there only to watch that there were no foul traps, but in no way were they there to protect the boxer. Eventually the British sporting authorities began regulating the sport, the first boxing rules were created and shortly after the Marquess of Queensberry rules were born. And at the beginning of the 20th century there were a series of basic rules, do not bite, use of small gloves, duration of rounds, etc … .. It continued for many more decades until the World Boxing Council arrived with the firm conviction of changing the fundamentals. of sport and have as the only priority the protection of the boxer.
So over the years the WBC has changed boxing to be a great sport today. Mandatory medical examinations were instituted, multiple medical studies have been conducted to constantly change the rules with these data. The equipment has changed radically, today’s gloves are manufactured with state-of-the-art technology and with materials studied to reduce the impact of blows, the bandage is a process that has almost eliminated the injuries of the fists which was very common, the protector mouthpiece also high technology that reduces the impact of blows received. The ring also has specific regulations to maximize the protection of the fighters, the canvas and its cushioning, the ropes, the stairs and all the security protocols around what happens inside and outside the ring.
The most important rule in the history of boxing was the change in the number of rounds for championship fights, it was reduced from 15 to 12 rounds in 1983 under the firm decision of Jose Sulaiman after receiving hard data from UCLA. This rule change has saved many lives and the quality of life for boxers after retirement is evident. The pressure that was generated at that time was tremendous, television lost the most expensive three minutes, since the commercials in the minutes of rest at the end of the fight were the most expensive and the fans were deprived of being able to see the drama that is generated in those last 9 minutes of combat. The world boxing community demanded a return to 15 rounds, even the boxers themselves claimed that they were gladiators and would fight to the death.
That is precisely the reality. The boxer is willing to fight under any conditions for the sole purpose of getting ahead in life, 15, 20 or 50 rounds, with or without gloves, kicks and bites; The boxer is a warrior, he is a gladiator and will fight under any condition. It is the obligation of the regulators to impose the rules and conditions so that the sport is developed with the maximum protection to the athlete.
The World Boxing Council will never compromise the integrity of the fighter and will continue to seek rules to continue making the sport safer.
It is a pity that, after this process of decades with clear results, we see that some parts of the world allow fighting that goes against everything that has been done to take care of the athlete. Now there is a concept called “Bare Knuckle Fighting” or bare fist fighting. It is incredible that there are authorities that license the organizers and allow these events to take place. An event was recently held in the state of Kansas and they have occurred elsewhere, including an event in Cancun last year. It is clear that there are people willing to do anything to earn a dollar regardless of the lives of others.
The World Boxing Council will fight head-on any activity that puts athletes at risk and no member of the body may participate in any of them.
Did you know?
Víctor Rabanales, who was a double WBC world champion, was deceived when he was invited to participate in a fight in Japan, when he arrived at the arena he was informed that it would be a fight “anything goes”. Rabanales having economic need and being a warrior I accept. He entered the cage and in a matter of seconds he was on the ground subjected to a lock that led him to surrender.
Today’s Trivia – A few years ago mixed martial arts became extremely popular in some regions of the world. This generated great concern to DON JOSE due to the aforementioned. One day I asked him about the changes that boxing and he promoted and the difference with other sports that on the contrary generated extreme violence. “Mijito, boxing is the art of defense, it is a sport of great honor and it is the opportunity for thousands of young people around the world to get ahead in life. We cannot control what others do and the only thing we can do is go our way. There are those who are opportunists, there are those who get on the train and put aside their values and principles, they may make money, but one day everything will be clear and boxing will forever continue to be the sport of excellence “
By Mauricio Sulaimán / Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC
Read More on WBC Boxing HERE