Jerry Glick reporting: There is a meeting coming up that will have important ramifications for the safety of boxers. On November 4th until the 6th, the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians will gather for their 10th annual meeting scheduled to take place at the Omni Resorts Championsgate, Orlando, FL to talk about our sport in a way that most boxing people never do.
Because boxing is a contact sport where the participants are in combat it is of utmost importance to attempt to make it as safe as possible. That is the goal of the organization.
On the agenda at the seminar will be discussions about the pathophysiology of a concussion, and selected federal and state rules and regulations, and controversies in professional and amateur boxing among other things.
Expected to attend will be among others, former world champions James “Buddy” McGirt, Pinklon Thomas, Christy Martin, and her husband Jim Martin.
I had the opportunity to talk to the interim President of the group, Dr. Dominick Coletta.
“I’m the interim President,” confirmed Dr. Coletta. “Michael Schwartz stepped down for a little while so I took over in the mean time.”
The main goal of the organization is to help make boxing as safe as it can be.
“The organization, in general, has always been about boxing safety,” explained Dr. Coletta. “Medical rules, standards and recommendations so that the boxer and mixed martial artist have a safer sport, so every year for the past ten years we’ve been meeting annually to have a medical seminar related to boxing. This one in November typically is concentrating on head and neck injuries in boxing and mixed martial arts because all the emphasis lately has been on concussions in football and other sports. We have experts on head injuries coming to talk about how to treat the injured boxer.”
He said that other topics on the agenda would be weight reduction, making weight, and dehydration that most non-heavyweights go through. Also on the agenda will be talks concerning orthopaedic injuries and other forms of physical maladies that boxers can suffer.
They want to make sure that ring physicians know when to pull the plug on fighters when they are taking too many punches and neither the referee nor his corner sees fit to step in. Although he said that they cannot do much during a round and must react during the one minute rest, this reporter has seen the caring fight doctors jump in to save a fighter from permanent harm during the three minutes of combat.
“We invite referees, and commissioners to attend as well,” said Dr. Coletta who seemed a bit frustrated when he explained that while they can come up with great ideas there is really no way to implement their recommendations because of the fragmented nature of boxing. Rules and governing bodies change from state to state and from sanctioning body to sanctioning body.
“Our primary goal is to teach the ringside physician how to and when to stop a fight, when to let a fighter in the ring in the first place, and when to tell him that he’s through.”
Please visit the website at aaprp.org for details about this important part of the boxing community.
October 15, 2010