Boxing fights, the old pugilistic sport, is a combat sport at its most essential. Its violence of action is pure and unrelenting. Fights rely on good refereeing to stop fights at the point where one or both fighters are no longer able to intelligently defend himself or herself.
Furthermore, health checks on boxers after a match or a stoppage especially should be conducted by a qualified health professional. In most cases, knockouts lead to being referred to a nearby hospital for tests and observation.
Boxing injuries do sometimes lead to a fatality, either a health professional failed to realize the extent of the injuries sustained by the fighter, they lacked the proper equipment to ascertain the degree of difficulty the boxer had at the time or tests were not conducted at a hospital equipped to properly observe where medical intervention was required following a boxing match.
Here are five boxing injuries that were particularly bad:
1. Morales, Erik vs. Maidana, Marcos
Marcos Maidana is known as one of the hardest punching boxers at the 140-pound division. Erik Morales didn’t accept that his best boxing wasn’t superior to Maidana’s and he challenged him. His record was poor with only 3 wins out of his most recent 7 fights and the fighters he went up against weren’t that great either. Still, he wanted to battleMaidana and he got it.
As the fight began, Maidana was out quickly and Morales was on the defensive almost from the first couple of seconds. Morales sustained a punishing uppercut to his right eye in the 1st and the swelling began. As the rounds progressed, the better technique exhibited by Maidana prevented Morales from making much progress. Meanwhile, Morales’ eye swelled up and closed completely by round four.
Despite only being able to see through one eye, Maidana was repeatedly challenged by the older, slower Morales. This continued through 12 rounds. While he was defeated on points, Morales won a moral victory because he didn’t give up. The huge swelling in his eye was incredible for people to see but his spirit to fight like a warrior impressed everyone.
2. Tyson, Mike vs. Holyfield, Evander
The notorious ear-biting episode in 1997 at the MGM Grand Garden Area has gone down as one of the ridiculous boxing injuries of all time. The rematch between heavyweights Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield was one of the most anticipated because both opponents had impressive boxing resumes and no one was sure of the eventual outcome.
Tyson was struggling with his own personal demons at the time which impacted his behavior when becoming frustrated with how he was progressing in the first. The third round was where it all happened.
During a struggle between himself and Holyfield, Tyson leaned in and bite off a chunk of Holyfield’s side ear lobe. Holyfield was incredulous that any fighter would do that to another. He gesticulated to the referee about it, but the fight continued. Then Tyson undaunted, did it a second time. This time the referee stopped the fight. Tyson was subsequently suspended and his career was at an end.
3. Rahman, Hasim vs. Holyfield, Evander
Hasim Rahman was no stranger to creating surprises. Despite being a bookie under-dog when about to fight Lennox Lewis who he knocked out in the fifth (he lost the rematch), he returned to fight Evander Holyfield. The previous champion Holyfield had seen better days.
When it got to the 8th, the doctor took a look and the fight was stopped. The swelling on the forehead of Rahman had gotten so large no other decision could be reached.
4. Abraham, Arthur vs. Miranda, Edison
The boxing match in 2006 between Arthur Abraham and Edison Miranda became legendary because of the punching power of both fighters.
The fight was controversial because of Miranda’s tactics including several low blows and a headbutt that appeared deliberate too. Five points were taken off because of these rough-house tactics.
Abraham took the brunt of the punishment. While he won the match, his jaw was broken and required 22 screws to hold it into position with a couple of titanium plates to secure them. Despite the medical work, Abraham’s boxing reputation only increased.
5. Klitschko, Vitali vs. Lewis, Lennox
Klitschko took some knocks for quitting on his stool due to a rotator cuff problem during a fight with Chris Byrd. His match with Lennox Lewis was seen as a chance at redemption.
Lewis had seen better days, but he managed to open up a cut above the left eye of Klitschko. The eye worsened through to the sixth round at which point it was very deep and threatened the eye itself if it worsened.
The doctor stopped the fight due to the risk to Klitschko’s sight, but the fighter earned the respect of all who saw the match for his grit and determination to continue despite a horrific facial injury.
Boxing has had its fair share of injuries and deaths both in and outside the ring. It will always be a risky sport, but that’s part of its attraction. So make sure always wear good quality boxing accessories for protecting yourself during the fight.