Sports Medicine Growth Keeps Medicos Mum.
When Muhammad Ali came to the Hutt Valley in 1979 a member of his entourage was a stooped man who passed unnoticed even to boxing aficionados. It was in fact Jimmy Ellis, former World Heavyweight champion, and the author of Ali’s favourite tag line, Float Like a Butterfly/Sting Like a Bee.
At that time all those years ago the late Jimmy Ellis (pictured) we now know was in the grip of dementia pugilistica.
The stilling of all official condemnation of boxing remains one of the weirdest silences in today’s age of officially imposed urban safety and ultra-caution. Voices are equally stilled about injuries sustained at rugby football, notably at its high end (“just concussion- he’ll be right.”)
In boxing the debate like a deflected punch centres around the safety and security of the boxing gloves in absorbing the immediate kinetic energy of the blow.
In the event there is a school of thought that holds that boxing would be safer if blows were delivered unsheathed, the numerous bones of the hand being anatomically the most delicate.
Until quite recent times there was a belief that the deliberate attempt to concuss an opponent, the KO, would cause boxing to fade away under the feminisation of society inherent in the women’s movement. In the event the movement instead swerved toward boxing on the grounds that women could do it, with the result that female boxing now appears as a mainstream sporting code co-equal to the male version .
The medical profession has steered a cautious path around the issue, if only because so many of its members are actively involved in the sports medicine category.
Bare-knuckle boxing is the original form of boxing and involves individuals fighting without boxing gloves or other padding on their hands. Bare-knuckle boxing was sidelined with the arrival in 1867 of Queensbury Rules and gloved bouts.
In recent years bare knuckle has staged a comeback if not in name then as a component of martial jousts.
Ali meanwhile following his visit to NewwZealand was never to regain the fitness he displayed on that tour. Many mark his downward spiral from events soon after when in order to raise funds for the Black Muslims he embarked upon a career of Thai kick boxing. In doing so many believe he took blows to his neck which detonated his early Parkinsons Disease.
From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk - Friday 30 September 2016