The pandemic has been a challenging time for the medical world and in a special report to the World Boxing Council`s fifty ninth Convention in Mexico City, its Medical Advisory Board outlined and unfolded the sheer magnitude of the devastation.
Board Member Dr Ricardo Monreal explained that the pandemic has caused five million deaths and two hundred and fifty-four million infection cases worldwide. It`s effect on the world of sports saw the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo cancelled and re-scheduled for this year.
The WBC established a protocol to combat covid 19 with the priority on safety, but inevitably some boxers have become infected. One boxer aged twenty-nine tested positive for covid two months before his fight. He appeared to recover but was knocked out. He showed signs of fatigue, shortness of breath, slowed speech and gait and displayed symptoms of Taci cardia. There are a lot of things doctors don`t know, don`t have the answers and are having to learn about the virus.
After effects can linger for months and possibly even for years. So there must be multi-disciplinary assessments and psychological evaluation. The Board strongly recommends boxers and the general public get the anti covid 19 vaccination. Board Chairman Dr Paul Wallace says if there`s a positive test for a boxer, there must be extra tests, including heart, MRI, CT scans of the upper body. It`s a question of taking the extra steps. No complacency at the WBC Convention with two hundred tests per day, because more than one thousand people have attended.
The WBC Medical Advisory Board has also been keeping a watchful eye on Celebrity Boxing, with veteran fighters returning. Dr Wallace said that twelve boxers at the Convention have been asked for their opinions of what can be done. The resulting suggestions are for any contest to be limited to a maximum of six rounds of two minutes. Glove sizes to be sixteen ounces, but also depending on the category. If a fighter goes down there should be eight seconds leniency for the referee to consider if the bout should be stopped. No scoring in an exhibition, which is supposed to be a fun show displaying talents and NOT a fight. The recent “Event” in which all-time great Evander Holyfield was KO`d in the first round, did no credit to boxing.
There was also consideration of uniform suspensions when boxers in their prime, get stopped incorporating no athletic activity, no contact, general activity and when this should end. This can span thirty, forty-five and sixty days. Complete rest which even means no jogging is essential or recovery time can be hampered. The Board wants every Boxing Confederation to send a doctor to WBC Conventions, in order to keep up to date with developments. The Association of Ringside Physicians has more than twenty years of experience concerning combat injuries.
It`s recommended that Confederation physicians attend WBC training courses at least once per year.