Medics in Australia demand ban on boxing after fighter’s death
MANILA, Philippines – Senior medical officials in Queensland called for a ban on boxing in Australia in lieu of the death of an Australian fighter this past week.
Braydon Smith, 23, lost to Filipino boxer John Moralde by unanimous decision in their fight for the WBC Asian Boxing Council continental featherweight title in Toowoomba on Saturday, March 14, and collapsed in his dressing room following the fight.
Smith, who was a law student, was put into an induced coma but was unable to regain consciousness. His life support was turned off at a hospital in Brisbane two days later.
According to Australian Medical Association Queensland president Shaun Rudd, the death of Smith proves why boxing should be banned in the country.
"We believe that a so-called sport where two people knock each other in the head as often as you possibly can to win a bout seems rather barbaric," he told ABC.
"You're not allowed to hit the organs beneath the belt whereas you're allowed to hit the organ above your shoulder which is the most important organ in the body."
James O’Shea, a representative of the Smith family, said that Braydon had hoped to show that boxing wasn’t as dangerous a sport as people feared it to be. Smith was undefeated in 12 fights leading up to his match against Moralde.
“He really wanted to change the image of boxing,” O’Shea said.
"A lot of times in this country the sport gets a bad rap.”
Four years go, another Australian boxer, Alex Slade, died a week after collapsing in the fourth round of a fight held in Townsville. He was 18 years old.
Despite the sport’s bad reputation with the Australian Medical Association, Boxing Queensland president Ann Tindall defended the sport.
"It's a tragic accident, a tragic accident as you can have in a car or any other sport, there are many sports that have deaths in them," Tindall said.
"We don't believe we're immune, but at the same time we don't believe it's the boxing that's going to actually harm any of our youngsters." – Rappler.com