Friday, June 8, 2012
Are Boxers Getting Smarter?
Yesterday former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito announced his retirement from boxing. A few days earlier "Sugar" Shane Mosley walked away from the sport as well. As a boxing fan it's refreshing to see fighters leave the game before it's too late. We've grown accustomed to watching fighters go way past their prime in an attempt to regain their former wealth and fame. What's behind this latest trend?
I personally think the attention and research dedicated to concussions played a big part in Margarito and Mosley's decision. Shane was turning into a human punching bag over his last four fights taking unnecessary punishment. Now that we have a better understanding regarding the cumulative effects of blows to the head it's simply a matter of safety over glory.
Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. should be the next to follow suit. They are chasing an unattainable goal and risking their long term health in the process. It's hard to tell someone to turn down millions of dollars displaying a craft they've perfected over the years, but no one wants to see these guys end up with Parkinson's or worse. The reflex and motor skills aren't what they used to be.
In the future we will see more football players, MMA fighters, and boxers retire at a younger age. Head trauma is a serious matter and after the tragic deaths of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson the subject can't be ignored.