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McGuigan: Boxing ban would be moronic

The calls come after Nick Blackwell was placed in an induced coma recently.

Boxing trainer Shane McGuigan
Boxing trainer Shane McGuigan

TRAINER SHANE MCGUIGAN says calls for boxing to be banned in the wake of Nick Blackwell’s head injury are “moronic”.

Blackwell was rushed to hospital after Saturday’s British middleweight title bout with Chris Eubank Jr was stopped in the 10th round on medical grounds.

The fighter was placed in an induced coma after suffering a bleed on the brain in the fight, the 25-year-old leaving Wembley Arena on a stretcher having collapsed in the ring after the result was announced.

McGuigan — whose father Barry put Young Ali in a coma from which he never recovered in 1982 — does not think the incident involving Blackwell should result in drastic changes within the sport, which he believes is safer than ever.

The BBBofC [British Boxing Board of Control] has developed over the years, they have anaesthetists on site, doctors on site, MRI scans yearly, they are better than any other governing body,” McGuigan told Omnisport.

“We’ve had fighters coming in to fight Carl Frampton from Mexico or America and they don’t have brain scans yearly.

“The British Boxing Board of Control are doing a fantastic job helping this sport become safe. If you back over the years at the number of brain injuries it has come right down.

“It was a freak accident with Nick, everyone did their job right, you can’t blame anybody, it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. He was sparring George Groves — my super-middleweight — for three weeks before this fight and he’s got a fantastic chin. It was just one step too far, it’s a real shame.

It is a dangerous sport, but with control and communication it’s a safe sport. Over the years it’s become safer and safer.

“Boxing is an incredible skill and an incredible discipline and for it to be banned would be moronic. It won’t be banned, these things happen, (you’ve) just got to make it as safe as possible.”

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