Safety in Boxing: Who is Responsible?
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Nick Blackwell entered the ring on 26th March 2016 as the British middleweight champion. He left the SSE Arena on a stretcher, before being taken to a nearby hospital and put into a drug induced coma. The challenger, and new British champion, Chris Eubank Jr had dominated the contest – leaving Blackwell with a bloodied nose and a grotesque swelling above his left eye. After 10 viscous rounds, the ringside doctor was asked by referee Victor Loughlin to inspect Blackwell’s damaged eye. Following a brief examination, the bout was called off. The aftermath has sparked a debate about safety in boxing, with several reports in mainstream journalism focusing on the referee, and how the fight should have been stopped earlier. Indeed, it was a one sided afair, and at times Eubank Jr landed at will as Blackwell was stuck on the ropes. However, Blackwell kept his defences up and would often throw one or two punches back – somewhat justifying the continuation of the fight. Loughlin would have been wary of the fact that this was an important fight for both men, and had to trust his professional judgment.
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