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WMA Calls For Ban On Boxing

19 December 2000

The World Medical Association today added its voice to calls for a total ban on boxing.

Following last Saturday's world title fight between the South African boxer, Mbulelo Botile, and Paul Ingle from Britain, in which Ingle suffered serious injury, Dr. Delon Human, Secretary General of the WMA, said that ringside physicians should be allowed to stop any bout at any stage of a fight.

He said that the WMA had adopted policy in 1983 for a ban on boxing.

"The WMA has called on its members world-wide to put pressure on the boxing authorities in their countries to ensure the safety of boxers while boxing is still allowed to continue. No boxing bouts should be allowed, however, unless they are held in the vicinity of a neurosurgical unit, or unless resuscitation equipment is available at the ringside.

"In addition, the ringside physicians should be allowed to stop any bout at any stage of a fight depending on the damage inflicted on a fighter.

"Boxing is quite unlike any other sport in that the basic intent is to cause bodily harm to the opponent. It is impossible to participate in boxing without being hurt. It cannot fairly be described as a sport; it is simply a barbaric practice.

"We are especially concerned by this particular case, where it seems that the fight should have been stopped at a much earlier stage. How many young men's lives and health, and now female boxers as well, must be lost before we stop this organized form of barbarism?"


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