Is it possible to protect boxers better?

Is it possible to protect boxers better?

Sep 3, 2021, 11:33:12 PM Sport

Is it possible to protect boxers better?

A young 18-year-old boxer died five days after a fight presented on Saturday at the IGA Stadium in Montreal. Because of this accident, some critics will once again call for the abolition of boxing. Others will look for a culprit in the accident. 

It is always worrying to see a boxer leave the ring on a stretcher. But you have to be realistic. Boxing is a violent sport, an extreme sport, just like mixed martial arts and wrestling, yet our gyms are filled to the brim with men and women who want to stay in shape. People, often women, who mainly practice recreational boxing and others to learn how to better defend themselves in the event of an attack. 

Sylvain Paradis, who is a boxing trainer at the Académie Frontenac, confided to me that in recent years, it seems that women " have more balls " than men in training. Moreover, there are about a hundred under his tutelage, including a dozen who are serious and want to try the experience with the pros. 

Needless to say, when an accident like the one that happened in Zapata happens, it throws a cold shower on the training. 

What went wrong? 

Since last Saturday, everyone has been wondering what went wrong in this fight which claimed the life of Jeannette Zacarias Zapata.

The answer: The same thing happened to Adonis Stevenson. An accident, incredible bad luck.

Everything was in order, and yet ... Zapata had all her papers. She had been vaccinated twice against COVID-19. At 18, she was accompanied by her partner Jovanni Martinez, also a boxer. Her professional record showed two wins against three losses and no knockouts. She therefore had one more fight than her rival Marie-Pier Houle. It was the first time she had fought outside her country and only her second fight after a three-year absence from the ring. It was her second career six-round game. During her last fight, on May 14, 2021, she lost by K.-O./6 against Cynthia Lozano (8-0-0). 

18 years outside of Quebec 

Zapata started boxing professionally at the age of 15 in the Mexico. 

For those who believe that she started boxing too young, it should be noted that Manny Pacquiao, who is almost 43 years old, started boxing professionally at the age of 14. 

Canelo Alvarez, currently the most wanted boxer on the planet, also had his first pro fight at the age of 15. 

Wilfred Benitez was 17 years, 5 months and 23 days old when he topped the WBA welterweight crown after his decision victory over Antonio Cervantes. He also delivered his first game with the pros at the age of 15. 

Vasyl Lomachenko, recognized as one of the best pugilists in the world, took part in 397 fights among amateurs, before moving on to the pros. His amateur career dates back to 2002, when he was 14 years old. In 2004, he won the European Championship, the silver medal at the World Championship in 2007 and two gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. 

We get old quickly 

In Mexico, children get old very quickly. To give you an idea of ​​the situation, let me explain the case of Maria Soledad Vargas, who lost the decision to Kim Clavel, in the final of the evening. 

At the press conference before the duel, it was learned through the interpreter that Vargas was 29 years old. She was born on March 7, 1992. However, she declared that she dedicated this fight to her two sons aged 17 and 6. Unless the translator from Spanish to French made a mistake in his translation at the press conference, the numbers are indeed 17 and 6 years old. And if she has a 17-year-old son, she had it when she was 12. 

Let's shed some light

The "anti-boxing", a bit like the cockroaches, come out when it gets dark. 

We cannot blame the Régie des sports du Québec. She is recognized as an example to other Boxing Commissions around the world. It is so true that many of our judges are invited to work in very important fights outside Quebec. 

How to blame the promoter. He submitted his list of participants to his gala and the Régie accepted them all after investigation and medical examinations. 

Despite being 18, Zapata had the right to step into the ring. The Régie's doctors carried out all the usual checks. Her blood tests showed no abnormalities, nor did her CT scan. She had received her two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In the ring, she looked in pretty good shape. She held her end for the first three assaults, although Houle had the better in each of those rounds. 

In the fourth and final engagement, Houle got the upper hand from start to finish. 

In the final seconds, Houle managed to place a solid right to the head that knocked out her rival. 

The referee has nothing to be ashamed of

Referee Albert Padulo has nothing to be ashamed of. The accident happened in the last moments of the round and he intervened before the sound of the bell, as soon as he noticed that Zapata was in difficulty. Officially, the K.-O. was recorded 2 minutes into the fourth round. 

Currently, we are reviewing the gala outfit which took place at the IGA Stadium in Montreal, last Saturday, in intermittent light rain. Certainly there will be some improvements to be made. 

What I hope is that we will call on a few boxers instead of “tie pencils” to clarify the situation. Pugilists and trainers such as Lucian Bute, Eric Lucas, Gaétan Hart, Fernand Marcotte, Jean Pascal, Marc Ramsay, Stéphan Larouche, the Grant brothers and others. 

The boxers version 

Ask any boxer who has dared to climb the three steps to the ring and he will tell you that every time he walks on the arena mat he knows her life is in danger, but he is ready. to take this risk for an amount of money established in advance. 

It is true that it takes a certain character to become a professional boxer. It is not in the richest families that we find them. Usually they are recruited from the poorest countries where there is practically no age at which to earn a living by fighting. 

Take the case of all the boxers from home in Quebec and you will see that each had a reason to get into a ring, either to let off steam, or to bring out this excess of violence anchored in the depths of himself, or to get out of family misery. 

Inspector Pelletier 

In the 1950s, I had the opportunity to meet a Montreal police inspector by the name of Ovila Pelletier, a tall, very tall man. He was the inspector responsible for the juvenile morality of the time. A park in Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve now bears her name. 

In 1945, he founded the Montreal Youth Clubs. Each time a teenager fell into the hands of the police after having committed an offense, the behavior of the family was assessed and quite often Inspector Pelletier decided to send these young people from the street to gymnasiums. Not only to learn boxing, but also to learn to live, to learn to socialize. 


For the moment, I do not see any culprit of the stroke of the boxer Zapata.

Among the possible solutions: 

Maybe medics could make the pre-fight exams even more rigorous. 

Perhaps the Régie could be more severe in its tests to allow certain boxers from foreign countries to fight with us before the age of 20. 

The Régie could still require that a pugilist who has been put out of action because of repeated blows to the brain cannot return to the ring before a period of six months. 

Maybe ... maybe ... maybe ...

I would like to have your thoughts on that. 

Happy boxing!

Published by Micheal Warner

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