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  1. #2926

    Re: Other Sports Random, Random

    ...and Phelps lost another one of his records today - two this week.

  2. #2927

    Re: Other Sports Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by fastbackss View Post
    ...and Phelps lost another one of his records today - two this week.
    And that's without the teenager at Worlds that they were anticipating will break it. Phelps only has one world record remaining.

  3. #2928

    Re: Other Sports Random, Random

    After Two Deaths Days Apart, Boxing Examines Its Risks

    Maxim Dadashev in his corner just before officials halted the July 19 fight because of his injuries. Dadashev died four days later.
    CreditCreditScott Taetsch/Getty Images

    By Scott Cacciola
    Aug. 7, 2019

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pat English, a lawyer with long and influential ties to boxing, was delivering a history lesson on various federal guidelines for the sport when he flashed a black-and-white photograph of a young fighter.

    The boxer’s name was Stephan Johnson, a junior middleweight who had fought three times (and most likely sustained at least one brain injury) in the seven months leading up to his United States Boxing Association title fight against Paul Vaden in November 1999. Johnson was under a medical suspension that was not recognized by some local boxing commissions, and despite his trainer’s objections he was eager to return to the ring so he could earn enough money to move his mother out of public housing.

    Johnson lost the fight, and his life. Knocked out in the 10th round, he was rushed to a hospital where surgeons drilled two holes in his skull. He died two weeks later at 31.

    English, who was at that fight, recalled some of those details last week as he spoke at a meeting of the people who regulate the sport and are grappling with fresh tragedies that feel too familiar.

    Two boxers died days apart last month after sustaining brain injuries in the ring. Maxim Dadashev, a 28-year-old Russian, died on July 23, four days after a light welterweight fight in Maryland. Hugo Alfredo Santillán, a 23-year-old Argentine, died on July 25, five days after collapsing at the end of a lightweight fight in Buenos Aires. Santillán had fought to a draw.

    Their deaths framed conversations at the annual meeting of the Association of Boxing Commissions, where directors of state and tribal commissions examined policies central to boxing and other combat sports they supervise at a local level. They touched on drug testing, concussion protocols and even social media decorum for referees (the primary message there: Don’t tweet dumb stuff). But the discussions kept returning to a basic idea: Boxing is inherently dangerous, and fighters depend on the rules to prevent the worst possible injuries.

    “Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this for a living,” Mike Mazzulli, the departing president of the A.B.C., said in a telephone interview after the meeting in Scottsdale. “But if I’m not doing it, no one will.”

    The regulators, and others in the sport, are still seeking answers.

    “This is a time where we all need to go back to the drawing board and understand what is happening,” Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the World Boxing Council, said in a speech at the meeting. “Because something is happening.”

    Sulaiman, whose organization sanctioned Santillán’s deadly fight, continued: “Any boxer who goes to the ring is willing to do whatever he has to do to win — whatever he has to do to be successful and make money for his family. If you ask him to fight 20 rounds, he will do whatever it takes. They’re warriors. It’s our duty to protect them from themselves.”

    That’s quite a demand for the people Sulaiman addressed. Boxing is not synonymous with health and safety.

    “People are going to get hurt, and people are going to die,” Dr. Michael Schwartz, a co-chairman of the medical advisory committee for the A.B.C., said while speaking about the liability issues involved in practicing ringside medicine. “But we’re here to do everything we can to minimize those risks.”

    One area where the sport can improve, regulators said, is oversight of how boxers cut weight before fights.

    The former light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward, who last fought in 2017, said on the day Santillán died that it was crucial to do more monitoring of rapid weight loss just before bouts — and of the resulting dehydration.

    “Lack of fluid around the brain increases the risk of a brain bleed,” Ward tweeted.

    One of the biggest changes we can bring in the sport of boxing is the weight-in process. Either go back to same day weight-ins, or allow IV’s to be administered in every state leaglly. Lack of fluid around the brain increases the risk of a brain bleed.

    — Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) July 25, 2019

    Because weigh-ins typically happen the day before the fight, boxers spend about 24 hours regaining as much weight as possible. But their bodies cannot absorb fluids again in such a short period of time, often leaving fighters dehydrated — a condition that can hurt vital organs and leave the brain less protected than usual.

    The W.B.C. introduced a pilot program this year that called for more weigh-ins in the days and weeks leading up to fights, plus one final weigh-in on the day of the fight itself to gauge just how many pounds each boxer was gaining at essentially the last minute.

    Andy Foster, the executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission, has been charting the weight fluctuations of boxers in his state. His findings: Of 1,594 boxers studied in a three-year period through 2018, 306 had gained more than 10 percent of their body weight in the roughly 24 hours before their fights.

    Foster shook his head when sharing that information and said he supposed that ignoring his findings would be easier than the alternative.

    “But I don’t want it to be easier,” he said. “I now know this information, so we have to do something with it.”

    Foster said he was going to start canceling more fights. A weight gain of 15 percent or more? Fight is off. He said the California commission had asked him to draft language to that effect so that the members could bring it to a vote in October. Foster acknowledged that calling off a fight would be extremely difficult.

    “You’re pushed against the wall by the promoter, and you’ve got 18,000 people sitting around looking at you,” he said. “But I don’t just think this stuff is dangerous — I know it.”

    Schwartz emphasized the severity of the problem in boxing. Generally, he said, rapid weight loss below even 10 percent could be fatal.

    “In the real world, we’re talking about potential death at 5 to 7 percent” because of dehydration, Schwartz said, contrasting that with fighters’ cutting 15 percent or more of their body weight.

    Schwartz recalled reviewing some paperwork before a recent bout in Connecticut. A boxer who was scheduled to fight in a month had undergone a physical examination that listed his weight at 212 pounds. He was supposed to fight at 185 pounds.

    “If we know that ahead of time, why are we even allowing them to get into that weight class?” he asked.

    One of the major criticisms from fans after Santillán’s fight was that it took a long time for him to get medical attention; he collapsed in the ring after needing help to stand for several minutes while the decision was read.

    Boxing has long struggled with the fact that many of its events are managed locally, leading to lapses in communication and differences in rules. The A.B.C. has tried to curb some of those issues, in part by teaming up with BoxRec, a statistical database. Mazzulli said the number of boxers fighting while on suspension, as Johnson did in 1999, had declined drastically in recent years, to below 1 percent.

    Near the end of the convention, Mazzulli wanted to revisit the death of Dadashev in Maryland. From his point of view, he said, it was hard to see what anyone had done wrong during the bout itself. Dadashev’s cornerman, Buddy McGirt, had gone so far as stepping in to stop the fight when it was clear to him that his fighter was taking too much punishment.

    So what, Mazzulli asked, can the sport learn from these twin tragedies? Where would it go from here?

    Schwartz said being able to gather more information ahead of fights would be helpful.

    “We don’t know what happened in the gym,” Schwartz said, speaking of boxers in general. “We don’t know how much weight he cut. We don’t know if he was concussed during training. This is probably the most difficult part of your job: How do we get that information? How do we get the fighters and corners and managers to be truthful?”

    A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 7, 2019, Section B, Page 9 of the New York edition with the headline: It’s Not a Fight To the Death.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  4. #2929

    Re: Other Sports Random, Random

    This is a rant that is basically about international volleyball, but I'm using it as a way to make a point about punishment for overt cheating. I was reminded of this incident by the fact that qualification tournaments for the Tokyo Olympics are underway.

    Last September, in the later rounds of the FIVB World Men's Volleyball Championships, a now-famous incident occurred. It was in the 5th set of a match between Brazil and Russia. The score was 14-11 with Brazil ahead and therefore having 3 match points (the 5th set is to 15, must win by 2). During that point, it appeared that Brazil had the point won, then Russia made an impressive save and it looked as if the point would be won by Russia. At that moment, the Brazilian coach rolled a ball onto the court, thereby requiring the point to be stopped. He claimed it was an accident, but the replays made it look VERY intentional. Anyway, he ended up being punished with a suspension for 5 international matches involving his Brazilian team.

    So.....analyzing the situation: Was anyone endangered by his action? If so, only his own players, since he rolled the ball onto their side of the court. Did it affect the outcome of the match? Probably not.....his team did lose the replay of that point, but won the next point to win 15-12 in that set. Statistically, his team would have likely won one of those 3 match points. Was it in fact intentional? While maybe it is hard to be absolutely sure on this, having seen all replays, I think it was clearly intentional. Was it well thought out in advance? Probably not, even to the point that I would suspect it was an action that he didn't think through, even at the moment he did it.

    So, should he have been punished? ABSOLUTELY. Was his punishment proportional to the degree of the crime? I say "emphatically yes."

    My takeaway on this story was that FIVB actually got this one exactly right. And I wish they would teach a lesson to the ruling organizations of other sports. As you folks know, one of my frequent rants is about cheating or other bad behaviors being very under-penalized, to the point that the penalty does not prevent said cheating or behavior being repeated. Having spent over 40 years very involved in the sport of figure skating, and having sworn off any contact with the sport due to the repeated, flagrant, and un-punished cheating, this is a very sensitive subject to me.

    The need for stricter punishment is obvious in any number of sports. So about tennis....We've discussed the fact that the punishments he has received have not gotten through to Nick Kyrgios. Obviously, the punishment for breaking a racket is not severe enough, since we have several entrants into our racket-smashing tournament every week. Many other examples could be given.

    And in other sports.....just one example of many: Tom Brady was suspended for 4 games for trying to fix the game that determined that his team would go to the Super Bowl. Surely that is a FAR greater transgression than what this volleyball coach did. And while there was no contrition in either case, at least the punishment in the volleyball case probably got that coach's attention big-time.

    Enough of a rant. I'm still in my "need to talk about anything other than gun control just now" mood since the shooting in Dayton.


  5. #2930

    Re: Other Sports Random, Random

    Glenn I'm shocked you don't worship at the altar of TOM BRADY!!!!

    You mention Kyrgios but what about every non English speaking player who is coached through a match and no one says anything because most of the officials and the chair have no idea what's being said. Tsitsipas "conversations" with his father during his last match should've been called out but it wasn't. And remember Henin and Carlos Rodriguez?

    It's been a problem in tennis for a long time and it doesn't appear anything is going to be done about it.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  6. #2931

    Re: Other Sports Random, Random

    Ti, Agree with your comments completely. There are any number of examples of inadequate punishment for overt violations of rules and etiquette. Figure skating makes it an industry, but many sports have very un-clean noses relative to this subject.


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