Aussie authorities must guard against another ring tragedy
AUSTRALIAN deputy state coroner Teresa O Sullivan recently revealed the finding of a medical study on the case of a ring fatality involving an Australian Davey Browne Jr. against Filipino Carlo Magali in June 2015 which she showed it could have been prevented had the ringside physician intervened when the former showed signs of concussions. She likewise faulted the referee for not timely stopping the fight when Browne was clearly in deep trouble near the end of the 12-round featherweight bout held in Sydney.
Browne died in hospital from brain injuries four days after he was knocked out by Magali with less than a minute left of their fight.
Australia actually had two ring deaths in 2015 the first coming after Brayd Smith succumbed to head injuries after losing a decision to another Filipino fighter John Vincent Moralde in March which revived calls for a total ban in professional boxing in the country.
Incidentally, the coroner report was released just two weeks before Australia holds potentially its biggest boxing bout when its very own Jeff Horn tries to make history by lifting the WBO welterweight championship from the head of Manny Pacquiao on July 2 in Brisbane.
The report may not have anything to do with that fight which is expected to fill the 55,000 capacity Suncorp Stadium to the rafters.
But perhaps, Australian boxing as well as health authorities have to take the cue from the revelation to preclude and prevent another ring tragedy that could potentially damage professional boxing in the continent.
If there is one thing common between Australian and Filipino fighters, it is that they are so tough, brave, and competitive.
The two unfortunate brutal fights involving Australian and Filipino fighters in 2015 that ended in boxing related deaths were just a recent illustration of how their ring common mentality meshes.
Some years ago, we saw a gory, bloody spectacle in a world lightweight title bout between Michael Katsidis and Cesar Amonsot which was won eventually by late round stoppage on account of head blows by the Greek-Australian after he himself survived a bloody deep, large cut above his eyebrow.
Incidentally, Amonsot is serving as Horn’s chief sparring partner.
Pacquiao on the other hand is no longer stranger to how competitive the brand of boxing and tough and brave boxers from Down Under are having fought and beaten Nadel Hussein early in his career. In that fight held in Manila, he found himself in danger of losing by knockout or stoppage if not for the proper and timely intervention of referee Carlos Sonny Padilla, Jr.
Pacquiao will surely be very wary of Horn and make sure that the Hussein incident will never happen again especially in Australia where he will fight for the first time in his long career.
On top of this, there has also been growing pressure coming from fans not only among Filipinos but worldwide and even his coach Freddie Roach for Manny to win by convincing knockout.
Though Manny has somewhat already mellowed, he had been in brutal bouts, most of which ended in knockouts like against Lehlo Lebwaba, David Diaz, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto or life or career-threatening injuries to the opponent as against Tony Margarito.
Given the sanguine relationship between Filipino and Australian fighters over the years and Pacquiao’s proven capability to create mayhem inside the ring especially against a relative greenhorn as Horn, Australian authorities may do well to take the cue from that recent coroner report.