Report on ABF Seminar on Boxing Safety
The ABF seminar on safety and performance in boxing on April 29th 2012 had a number of excellent presenters talk on a variety of related topics. The seminar concluded with a panel of three world champion boxers who shared their thoughts and experiences on safety and training issues.
The attendees thanked Matt Ropis for his initiative in conceiving the seminar and for his efforts to make it happen.
While the number of attendees was less than hoped, the seminar was very well received from those that attended. A number of attendees commented that it was one of the best seminars on boxing they had attended.
A summary of what the speakers spoke about and their key messages is presented below. The slides and other material from the seminar will be made available soon.
Noel Sharpe of the Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board presented an excellent summary of boxing governance, how boxing is fairing in Victoria, and recent changing to the boxing rules in Victoria. He handed out material which included a pictorial guide on how to bandage boxer’s hands prior to a fight.
Dr Helen Clausen
Dr Helen Clausen presented an excellent talk on “how to prolong your fight career and protect your brain”.
She spoke of her PhD work on brain trauma in boxing and the factors critical to safety and fighter longevity. Her PhD work involved testing a group of volunteer boxer’s reflexes and memory at different intervals before and after a fight. Issues considered in the study included the effects of drinking alcohol and the impacts of heavy sparring.
As far as the ANBF is aware, this is the first study of its type ever undertaken. The study sheds new light on boxer safety, longevity and as a consequence performance.
Key finding of her work presented at the seminar included the following:
- Slow reaction time after a fight is related to the minutes fought in the fight and the intensity of pre bout sparring;
- Drinking alcohol after a fight slows the rate of recovery;
- Treat every professional bout as if you had been knocked-out . Return to sparring should not occur until the boxer is completely recovered which usually takes about 4 weeks;
- Limit the amount if intensive sparring before a fight.
Dr John Jury
Dr John Jury presented an excellent talk entitled “Psychological Aspects of Training” that related his insights acquired over many years associated with boxing as a medical practitioner, psychologist and sociologist. He spoke of:
- The way people can view themselves in society and the effects this can have;
- The responsibilities of a trainer which include respecting the boxers identity and above all the safety of the boxer;
- The duties of a trainer which includes delivering the most up to date expertise and adapting training to suit the individual nature of each boxer;
- Best practice in the corner and after a fight;
- Diet, car of injuries.
Barry Michael, Lester Ellis and Suzie Ramadan
Barry Michael, Lester Ellis and Suzie Ramadan responded to a number of questions from the moderator of the session and the floor. Issues discussed by the panel included the following:
- Training approaches, safety and effectiveness;
- Different approaches the training in the industry.
- Importance of fitness / boxing skills;
- Particular issues for female boxers;
- Use of sparring and the best ways to spar;
- Pre fight and post fight management;
- Best advice for up and coming boxers.