By Flip Homansky MD
I know that there are shades of grey in many aspects of boxing, but please! Either we begin to do the right thing, or we sink further into the morass in which we currently live. Continuing with the potato will only hurt the sport and its participants. It is no harder to do things ethically right than to continue the rape and pillaging for which we are rightfully famous. Getting in the ring and risking everything is never a joke, never a trifle. These athletes deserve more from the regulators.
1) Meldrick Taylor fighting again - Why was a state sanctioning his return to the ring? His trainer, Lou Duva, pleaded with him to stop in 1993 and subsequently walked away. New Jersey turned him down a couple of years ago (he was simply told not to apply). Georgia recently let the promoter know that the fight shouldn’t occur, and Colorado concurred. They then turned to Alabama and voila, they found a home. Louisiana was only too glad to come in and help the promotion. Meldrick needs a full neuropsychological evaluation, including a speech pathologist. His career has had no direction for 10 years with almost no activity. He was an excellent fighter, and now he is representative of the weakness of our system of state regulation.
2) Fox TV is putting on celebrity boxing. Most of the matches have been a farce, but there does appear to have been adequate safety precautions in place. They wear headgear to help prevent lacerations and have pillows on their fists. I still believe that serious head injuries can still occur and in no way is this a simple game. My concern is with having women fighting men. This is a terrible precedent and should not be allowed. Physically and anatomically we are asking for problems. I don’t care if women and men compete in golf or bowling, but we can never forget that this is a dangerous profession, and not a game. Serious punches thrown in anger will cause injuries that can never be taken back.
3) Mike Tyson thanked Lennox for giving him the match. He also said that he needed a couple a more fights before he would have been in any way ready. If he wasn’t ready to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world....then why had he been rated the mandatory No.1 challenger for the WBC crown? Lennox had no choice but to fight Mike, or be stripped of his title. Mr. Tyson’s appreciation should have been directed at the ratings of the WBC. With only a few competitive rounds in the last six years and none of those against highly rated opponents, he was still rated as the number one challenger in the world. How is this possible? Why was it done? Did it ultimately help Mike, or simply put him in position for a horrible beating?
4) Larry Holmes vs. Butterbean. Enough said.
5) Do the State Athletic Commissions have a clue what is going on in Washington? There are two separate bills that have been introduced by Senators Reid and McCain. Both of these fine gentlemen truly care about our sport. They want to see fairness and honesty in all aspects of how we function. They want uniform medical standards that benefit our athletes. If the states don’t respond appropriately - I promise you that the United States Congress will!
6) I know that this is controversial, but the general level of judging is pretty good. If the fighter can’t knock his opponent out, or win convincingly, then the decision is in the hands of judges. Unfortunately, there will be decisions we may disagree with. Live with it! If you don’t want controversy...win overwhelmingly. I want an official who is objective and consistent. What we must do is keep the world bodies and the promoters out of the process. Politics have no place in choosing officials. We can work on competence, but never on dishonesty.
7) Illegal drugs have no role in our sport. Nothing should be taken that is dangerous, or gives an unfair advantage in the ring. We must provide a level playing field for our fighters. For these reasons we must begin testing for anabolic steroids. The process is complicated, and we need to do everything possible to make sure it is done fairly. The first thing we must do is educate. Anabolic steroids are medically dangerous, ethically wrong, and should never be taken by our athletes. At this point, education is more important than sanctions.
Is our role to sit back and watch the fights...or are we going to do the right things?
Dr. Flip Homansky is the current Vice-Chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). For over twenty years, he served as Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board and Chief Ringside Physician for the NSAC.
Dr. Flip Homansky practices in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he had been a licensed ringside physician and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for the Nevada State Athletic Commission for over twenty years. His medical specialty is in the field of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Homansky was appointed by Nevada’s Governor, Kenny C. Guinn, in 2000, to serve as a Commissioner of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Although he is currently Vice-Chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, all of the views, opinions, and/or recommendations contained herein are solely his own and do not necessary reflect those of Nevada’s Commission. All readers are strongly cautioned that the information contained herein is not intended to, and never should, substitute for the necessity of seeking the advice of a qualified medical professional whenever a boxer or his/her representatives have specific questions regarding the best course of action that a boxer should take. Furthermore, since it is possible that general information herein may pertain only to a law, regulation, rule or acceptable standard of practice for a particular jurisdiction, a boxer or his/her representatives must always inquire with the appropriate licensing jurisdiction to determine the applicable laws, regulations, rules, and acceptable standards of practice for each jurisdiction.
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