Posts Tagged ‘Boxing’

Nick Diaz Suspended for Five Years for Pot?!

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFC_183

The MMA world has gone into overdrive, outraged at the five-year ban to UFC welterweight Nick Diaz for allegedly testing positive to marijuana.

Diaz was also fined a ridiculous 33 per cent of his prize purse – $165,000.

If these penalties seem inordinately heavy when compared with the crime, it’s because they are.

The man Diaz fought before the controversy (Anderson Silva at UFC 183) returned a test positive for steroids. He received only a one-year ban.

Lucas Middlebrook, Diaz’ attorney, presented an aggressive defense to the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday. In an at times fiery session he questioned the very validity of the test results.

Middlebrook argued that separate tests by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) and the World Anti-Doping Agency both showed Diaz had marijuana well below the 150ng/ ML limit.

The only positive test above the limit was returned from Quest Diagnostics, showing 700ng/ML for marijuana.

Middlebrook then called upon an expert witness to discredit the lone positive result.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

“With all due respect,” said Middlebrook, “if the commission imposes discipline based on the complaint as written, which wholly igmores the two negative tests, thereby depriving this man of his earnings and his future ability to earn a living, it’s not only the highest form of administrative abuse of discretion, but it’s ripe for judicial review and reversal.”

 But the commission had the scent of blood in their nostrils and argued that Diaz had not claimed the use of marijuana on the pre-fight questionnaire – a document all athletes are required to sign.

Diaz showed his contempt for the proceedings by choosing to plead his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer the questions put to him.

MMA fans around the world were stunned.

Marijuana isn’t a performance enhancing drug (the way steroids are). Diaz certainly broke the rules, but banning him for five years effectively ends his career; and to recieve a penalty five times worse than someone using PEDs is absurd.

But what has outraged sportsfans most is the declaration made by Chairman Francisco Aguilar that the sentence is also for things other than the marijuana. “This is  not just a casee of marijuana,” he said. “I think this is a case of complete lack of disregard for the sport.”

But Diaz wasn’t on trial for his attitude.

And while he was also suspended in 2007 and 2012 for marijuana use it seems to be drawing an awfully long bow to say this equates to a ‘disregard for the sport’.

Green Wins 10 Rounder Against Bolonti

Green image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Green_(boxer)

Danny Green has made a decisive impact in his comeback fight against Argentina’s Roberto Bolonti, at the Hisense arena in Melbourne.

A fit and focused Green took a big step towards securing a multimillion dollar rematch with Anthony Mundine by overcoming the highly credentialed Bolonti in a bruising, yet entertaining encounter.

Fans of the green Machine might have been worried as green started slowly. He was looking to land his big right, but was given few opportunities.

But as the fight progressed Green settled into a comfortable range and rhythm.

Though 42 years of age (6 years older than Bolonti) and without a fight for the last three years, Green showed fitness and ring smarts.

Curiously, Bolonti did not capitalise on Green’s early inactivity. He pressed forward throughout the fight, often to his own detriment by walking into Green’s devastating rights.

“It was a very awkward fight,” said a relieved Green. “He’s survivor and he can punch. He’s a strong man, an ox.”

All three judges scored the 10 rond fight 100 – 90 to the Australian.

Green was elliptical about talk of challenging Mundine. “In his insular world he (Mundine) is king, but he needs to look outside his bubble.” Green believed the public didn’t really care to watch Mundine fight. He underscored this by saying he wouldn’t be fussed’ if the fight never went ahead.

“He needs a fight with me more than I need a fight with him.”

The Real Damage of KO’s

Image: en.wikipedia.org

“Never leave it in the hands of the judges.” This is the unofficial motto of the UFC.

To that end fighters are encouraged to submit or knock out their opponents every chance they get. But while submissions give a fighter a chance to surrender KO’s don’t.

And the consequences can be far-reaching.

An American Association of Neurological Surgeons report, in 2014, founds that the force generated by a professional boxer’s punch is equal to that of a 9 kg bowling ball travelling at 32km/hr.

When it impacts with a defenders head the sudden movement shocks the brain – the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the skull squashes the brain within its cavity, causing trauma to the soft tissue.

Depending upon the severity of the impact the brain may bounce around, striking the inside of the skull several times before coming to rest.

The brain tissues then goes into overdrive sending out a series of neurotransmissions demanding blood to repair the damage.

According to Anthony Alessi, a neurologist and boxing physician, when the blood supply to the brain is unequal to the amount necessary to repair the damage the fighter will lose consciousness. It’s the body’s way of protecting itself: shut down and heal.

But knockouts aren’t always one-punch fight-finishers.

In an article published in Popular Mechanics Alessi spoke about the cumulative effects leading to KO’s. This is when blood supply is meeting regenerative demands, but only just.

The first indication a fighter may be nearing unconsciousness is their feet.

“They become flat-footed, which is the inability to adjust. Boxers can’t move forwards or backwards quickly.

“As you watch their feet, you realise that the same lack of coordination is going on in their upper extremities, in their hands. And eventually they are unable to defend themselves,” said Alessi.

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Studies have found that around 90 per cent of professional boxers will suffer some form of head trauma throughout their career. Other research has suggested that between 15 – 40 per cent of boxers will, at some point, show signs of chronic brain injury.

Between 1960 and 2011 there have been approximately 488 deaths from boxing related injuries. 66 per cent of these are related to head and neck trauma.

In 2014 three professional boxers died from knockout punches.

Earlier this year Braydon Smith, a professional boxer in Australia, collapsed following his welterweight bout in Toowoomba, Queensland. He showed severe swelling on the brain from injuries sustained through the fight.

Danny Green Announces Comeback

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Boxer Danny Green announced his return to the ring on Wednesday and made it clear he wants another shot at Anthony Mundine.

The two haven’t fought since 2006 when Mundine outpointed Green for an unconvincing win in Sydney. At the time it was the most lucrative fight in Australian history.

The decision has been talked about ever since it was made.

When he learned of Green’s comeback Mundine laughed. He described Green as an ‘irrelevance’.

But with both men in the twighlight of their careers it is likely the big payday will lure them into one final showdown.

Mundine is 40, Green 42, so their high earning days are running out.

Green said, at his return announcement, that he had never stopped training and felt he was still in great shape.

But he’ll have to work his way back up to compete against Mundine.

The first step will be defeating the dangerous Slovakian Tamas Kovacs, at Hisense Arena on August 19. Kovacs is 20 15 years Green’s junior (27) and will be no push-over for The Green Machine.

Green is well-spoken, outgoing, and a devoted family man. Since his retirement from competitive boxing he has worked tirelessly against street violence and has become a respected community figure.

Jones Offered Immediate Title Shot Once He’s Cleaned Up

Image: en.wikipedia.org

UFC President Dana White has offered disgraced light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a title shot – but only when he sorts out his life outside the Octagon.

Jones has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested on felony charges. He is awaiting trial for running a red light and crashing his rental car into two other vehicles. The accidents caused injuries to the other drivers of a broken arm and wrist. Jones then fled the scene of the accident which turned a potential misdemeanour into a felony.

Albuquerque prosecutors have, as yet, not taken their case against Jones to the grand jury to officially indict him. However they have 60 days from the April 28 incident in which to do so.

In the meantime Jones’ light heavyweight title is up for grabs.

This weekend (at UFC 187) contenders Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will battle it out for the belt. The battle will be intriguing, but no matter who wins the world will always know the winner never took the belt off the incumbent champion.

And that, perhaps, is one reason for White’s offer to Jones.

“He (Jones) comes right back and fights for the title,” said White to Jim Rome on Wednesday.

“He hasn’t had the time that Anderson Silva’s had, but he’s the most dominant champion. If you look at the murderer’s row of the 205-pound division that he went through, and he went through it like a hot knife through butter. He’s the man.

“Whenever he gets his stuff together, he’d come right back and fight for the title.”

‘Whenever,’ is a big question.

Jones could very well be going to prison for up to three years if he’s found guilty. Plus he may be facing an additional civil suit.

“He’s got these legal issues and he’s got a civil suit against him and all this other stuff. So we’ll see how he gets through this and then find out where his head is. How does he handle himself through this situation and after it? I’ve gotta see from him that he’s doing the right thing.”

Death of Queensland Boxer Should Encourage Greater Dialogue

braydon smith

23-year-old Queensland boxer Braydon Smith died in hospital yesterday after a bout on Saturday night at Rumours International Convention Centre in Toowoomba. Smith lost in a unanimous points decision after a 10-round match against featherweight Filipino John Moralde.

He was alert as he praised and congratulated the winner before returning to his dressing room and collapsing 90 minutes after the fight. The boxer was airlifted to a Brisbane hospital and placed in an induced coma to help relieve swelling on his brain.

Smith’s life support was turned off on Monday afternoon at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, surrounded by family and friends. Family representative James O’Shea said the last few days have been very tough for Smith’s family.

Smith was in his final year of law at the University of Southern Queensland and was the son of prominent Toowoomba boxing trainer Brendon Smith.

O’Shea said Braydon was passionate about changing the image of boxing. “A big goal in his life was to show people it’s not [a bad sport].”

#prayforbrayd

People have been flocking to social media using the hashtag #prayforbrayd to show support to the boxer’s family and detail the way Braydon had touched their lives. People call Smith an “inspiration”, a “true gentleman” and an “admirable sportsman”.

Doctors Urge Boxing Ban

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Shaun Rudd believes boxing is a sport that can never be made safe, and thinks it should be banned nationally.

“It’s particularly sad when somebody dies playing a so-called sport when the whole idea of the sport is to try and knock the opponent out, or at least try and do enough damage to the head as you possibly can,” Dr Rudd told the ABC.

Sports lawyer Tim Fuller says subsequent Queensland governments have done nothing to regulate combat sports in the state, forcing them to regulate themselves.

“I think it’s disgraceful. It’s bordering in negligence,” he told the ABC.

He said there had been injuries and deaths in the state, but authorities were not taking responsibility to ensure the safety of athletes.

Future of the Sport

While one isolated and freak accident in a match should not be exaggerated to jeopardise the future of a sport, this is not the first death by head injury in boxing. 20-year-old Billy Ward was killed in 2013 in Gladstone and 18-year-old Alex Slade passed away after an amateur bout in Mackay in 2010.

A team of German researchers in 2013 reported that there have been an average of 10 boxing deaths per year since 1900. Apparently over 80% were due to head and neck injuries suffered in the ring. Boxers who have been knocked out also tend to perform more poorly in visual-spatial and mathematics exercises.

Such statistics demonstrate real dangers for participants of such a violent combat sport. Although there has been significant research into the health concerns for boxers, there appears to be a large void between researchers, governments and sports clubs/regulators.

Rather than inciting fear in boxers and triggering hyped up comments from doctors, this incident should encourage in-depth dialogue between researchers, sportspeople and regulators. All parties involved need to come together to bridge the divide between research and boxers’ safety to ensure a happy medium can be found.


 

TUF 21 Set to Pit Rival Fight Clubs Against One Another

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UFC-Octagon-USMCPhoto.jpg

Rumours are circulating that the next installment of The Ultimate fighter (TUF 21) will be between two established fight camps.

Previous seasons have seen fighters selected by nationality or open to all-comers. All fighters have had to fight their way into the house – winning bouts against other hopefuls in the same weight division.

This will be the first time established camps will be pitted against one another.

Although the UFC has not made any official announcement, sources involved with MMA say the two most likely candidates for season 21 are America Top Team (head quartered in Coconut Creek) and the Blackzillians (based in Boca Raton). Both camps call South Florida home. Both have enviable track records in producing world class fighters and both are fierce rivals. In fact, the rivals have their gyms only 20 minutes’ drive from one another!

UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, adopted Australian Hector Lombard, Thiago Alves, Will brooks and other big names hail from American Top Team. While superstars like Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Anthony Johnson and Eddie Alvarez are proud Blackzillians.

Sources from within both camps have let slip hints that they may be providing the cast for the upcoming reality show. The show will feature the best welterweights from each camp; filming is due to begin somewhere in South Florida soon.

Head coach of America Top Team, Ricardo Liborio and head striking coach of the Blackzillians, Henri Hooft, are tipped to be rival team coaches.

The show is likely to broadcast on Fight Pass. In its current format no big-name fighters will be used. This means all fighters are available for fight cards for 2015.

Jake Matthews Calls Out Joe Ellenberger

Matthews lands a left on Rocha. Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Jake Matthews secured an impressive victory over the respected Vagner Rocha at UFC Fight Night 55 on Saturday.

Matthews, the second youngest fighter I the UFC lightweight division, poured on the power and aggression from the beginning. He sunk in some painful leg kicks and showed strength beyond his years to out wrestled his decorated rival.

Matthews appeared to have won the first round, but was anything than complacent when the bell rang for the second. He kept his guard up and was constantly moving, slipping punches and mixing up his own attacks.

Matthews lands a left on Rocha. Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Matthews lands a left on Rocha. Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Towards the middle of the second round Matthews landed a hard superman punch on Rocha. Rocha sagged backwards and tried to cover up. Matthews pressed forwards delivering a flurry of punishing punches. Rocha sunk to the canvas, Matthews dived on him – going for a rear naked choke. Rocha scrambled, but Matthews dug in some hooks and tightened his grip.

It then became a battle of strength.

The referee waited for Rocha to fight back. When he didn’t he raised the Brazilians right leg – it flopped back to the canvas, inert. Jake was peeled off his insensate opponent and declared the winner.

When asked if he could feel when Rocha lost consciousness an elated Jake Matthews responded, “I could feel him go limp, yeah, but I knew he wasn’t going to tap, so I had to squeeze every bit of energy into that choke.

“I knew I had it (the hold) deep, but you never want to let anything like that off, because in the last second when he’s about to tap you let it go, so you never know.”

But Mathews admitted he still has a lot to learn. “I’ll work on my overall game plan,” he told the thrilled Sydney crowd.

“My striking’s come a long way, especially since my fight in Auckland in June, so I’ll keep working on my stand up and there’s little things I’ve picked out here.

When asked who he would like to fight next Mathews called out American Joe Ellenberger, “I’ve been having a look around and II want to fight some bigger names.

“I’m a big Conor McGregor fan, so I’d love to get on that card in January. I’d like to fight Joe Ellenberger No disrespect, but he’s got a good name behind him and I thought ‘why not?’ It’s another step up again. So if Ellenberger’s down for Boston in January, let’s do it!”

Boxer Jeff Horn Takes Another Step to Welterweight World Title

Australian boxer Jeff Horn continues to continues to carve a swathe of destruction through the world welterweight ranks. Last night he pounded Brazilian Fernando da Silva in Auckland for the entire twelve rounds to claim another win and take another step towards the world title.

The 26 year-old Horn, a Brisbane school teacher, had the edge over his rival in speed, accuracy and power. The Brazilian showed great composure managing to evade the worst of Horn’s power punches. The resilient da Silva hit the canvas only once, in the last round, but showed incredible bravery to stand back up and defend himself until the final bell.

Horn vs da Silva. Photo: www.aus-boxing.com

Horn vs da Silva. Photo: www.aus-boxing.com

This fight wasn’t expected to be as one-sided as it turned out to be. The South American is no slouch, having remained unbeaten in the last four years and having fought some of the most respected names in the welterweight division.

But da Silva fought only as well as he was allowed to. Horn’s stinging punches found a home and sapped the strength from his adversary. Horn managed to launch his attacks before da Silva. As the strikes began to add up da Silva’s boxing took on a more defensive stance. And as he became more defensive his counter-attack suffered.

Horn, a London Olympian, won the bought 120 – 107. All three judges agreeing he won every round. Considering the calibre of his opponent, the world welterweight division has now been put on notice.

Horn wants to fight Anthony Mundine in November. The question is: After last night’s demolition of da Silva does Mundine want to fight him?