Or­ga­niz­ers spare no ef­forts to en­sure safety

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

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.

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