Organizers spare no efforts to ensure safety
Sports Promotions which organizes white collar boxing fights in China, safety has always been their top priority. Benis was forthcoming about past mistakes that the company had made, saying that such lessons have in turn enabled CSP to come up with stringent measures to ensure safety.
“We once had a boxer pull out at the last minute but his opponent still wanted to fight and begged us to find an opponent. We asked another boxer to fill in, thinking he would be able to handle the fight because he had fought in our event before. But he ended up getting knocked out because he hadn’t been training hard enough,” said Benis.
Now, Benis spends around six months to get to know the coaching staff to make sure they are responsible trainers who can teach and recognize skill levels. CSP has also made it mandatory for boxers to be examined by a medical professional before and immediately after their fights. In addition to that, there is always a doctor at ringside, as well as a medical team in the vicinity that can immediately render assistance when necessary.
Safety measures extend all the way to even the quality of referees involved. These individuals play a vital role as they must be able to identify if a boxer is unable to continue with the fight.
“I am extremely proud of the core group of referees we use in Shanghai and Beijing, which was previously started and led by the late Mr Xiong. This small group of referees has safely supervised over 150 white collar fights with a 100 percent safety record,” said Benis.
“The team is now led by Mr Zhang, a policeman based in Shanghai. All of these referees were previously boxers, and are all certified amateur coaches and referees.”
Alarm bells were set off back in June 2014 when Lance Ferguson-Prayogg, a white collar boxer, died after his fight in a nightclub in Nottingham, Britain. While it was later determined that it was dieting pills that caused a sudden onset of kidney failure, the incident nevertheless raised questions about the pitfalls and lack of regulations in the sport.
When asked if white collar boxing should be regulated by a government body, Benis was quick to voice his approval. However, he noted that there would be challenges involved.
“The problem with governing bodies in boxing is the types of characters they attract. Many governing bodies are rife with corruption scandals. However, I would still love to see some sort of regulatory body in China lead the charge in the same exemplary, no-nonsense manner that Mr Xiong started this group,” said Benis.
Though boxing may seem like a rather violent sport to some people, Benis is quick to point out that even the more popular activities aren’t devoid of danger. He noted that the most common injuries in boxing are bleeding noses, sprained wrists and bruised ribs.
“Statistically speaking, boxing actually has less injuries than soccer or basketball. At the end of the day, any sport can be dangerous. What matters is that you are taking part in the sport under sensible conditions,” he said.