2 thoughts on “Gabriel Montoya reacts to the Association of Ringside Physicians’ position statements regarding various health & safety issues in combat sports: “Combat Sports Health and Safety in 2014: Job ONE”

  1. Solid piece once again from Montoya.

    This was the first I’d read of AIBA’s ridding amateurs of headgear “as a primer for its own plans to become a professional promoter.” Lovely. Can’t have enough brain injury, can we.

    It’s brought back an old memory…

    My father competed in the Golden Gloves in the ’50s. Cleaning out his house after his death last year, I came upon the old grey punching bag he’d saved, petrified now like some prehistoric testicle. Buried in his garage with it were the mouse-gnawed Everlasts he’d taught me, a scrawny kid, to defend myself with a good decade or so later. They’re now hanging in my own cluttered museum of a garage.

    He would speak well of his time as an amateur, but even in those far-off days outside Chicago boxing trod the barest line between reason and madness. LIterally so, on one occasion, as he and the others were whisked off to fight in a state hospital for the pleasure of mental patients! Whose brilliant idea this was time has forgotten, but there they were, these kids, laced-up and waiting for their go in a small ring set up within the bowels of this lonely Victorian facility, surroundings grim and onlookers befuddled and moaning. Once the bell rang and the first blows landed, the agitated chaos that arose from the poor, confused “fans” combusting emotionally as under a full moon brought it all to a predictable halt. No more sanitarium dates after that…

    • Haha Jesus, that is a hilarious story, and an apt metaphor for the inherent madness of boxing

      As for amateur boxing, last year’s World Championships was the first major competition to be fought without headguards and it made for a much better spectacle (think of Sugar Ray and the 1976 Olympics), despite a greater number of cuts and other injuries.

      I’m supportive of it in that sense and also feel it’ll breed better pros. As far as I know, only boxers at a senior level will have no headguards, and things will remain the same for all the youth competitors.

      The safety issues surrounding it are still somewhat worrisome though.

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