Learning What Can be Learned From Three Brain Bleeds to reduce frequency of them: Essay By Esteban Erik Stipnieks



On facebook I read about Frieda Wallbergs defeat and Saturday about the Brain bleed.  I posted an initial comment about parallels between another event that at this time is week.  I needless to say am happy about her recovery and I pray that it continues.  Having the background in aviation and mind on the autism spectrum I feel it necessary to editorialize about three brain bleeds discussing what went to some extent right....(Frieda Wallberg and Emily Klinefelter) are alive and things that went wrong.  The three events have a one common theme and two events have something that to an outsider of the boxing world is surprising but to those inside boxing is not.  From the incidents two strong themes emerge.....1)hometown home ring boxer is often subject to a greater risk.... 2)the positive effect the opponents corner can have on safety of a boxer.  Lets explore those in more depth. 

Sue Fox has written about mis matches.  While mis-matches are hazardous to a boxer they in many respects are less hazardous then the conditions that are present in what happened to Oscar Diaz, Emily Klinefelter and now Wallberg.  The boxer that often takes the greater risk is the boxer fighting in their home or close to their home with a large following of fans cheering on their favorite.  This common back drop subtly effects how trainers, officials and even doctors think.  In the case of Oscar the abort should have been far earlier in my opinion 2 weeks before the fight.  The fight should have been stopped sooner.  Yet a perverse hope against hope set in and we saw the near fatal result.  Emily's bout has two missing score cards and one score card indicates an almost overt attempt to rob a decision (she had to have been knocked out to lose) to a lesser extent this has to be explored with Wallberg where the doctor and her corner seemingly were reluctant to deal with bad news.  Update: Sue Fox has posted http://www.womenboxing.com/NEWS2013/news061913referee-story-diana-prazak-frida-wallberg.htm which seems to back up the premise.  In the case of Diaz their was a reluctance to admit that the hometown favorite was destined for failure and to under play.  The case of Klinefelter (2 of 3 score cards missing) the interview seems to indicate that their was a DISBELIEF of reality that was playing out.  A disbelief or failure to acknowledge a reality While how the home town hero factor played out was somewhat different in all three brain bleeds it reared its head. 

 The solution well while it would be nice to pronounce some neat policy change.  The variation on how the how the home field effect putting a fighter in GREATER danger is too subtle in how it effects thinking.  Also keeping title belts on so called neutral venues makes such venues much harder to sell out.  Naturally it can be argued that Canelo had the advantage in San Antonio (though he was fighting a citizen of Estados Unidos) and Zane Brige's most recent opponent.  So it comes down trainers, referees and even doctors to realize that something irrational can affect how they process information they should be processing in an OBJECTIVE manner.  The greatest danger to a fighter maybe from their own corner or supposedly friendly officials.  This fact needs to be on the minds of seconds, referees, promoters, judges and ringside physicians....personal bias.  The ability to view a situation somewhat objectively can be a life saver which brings up the silver lining of two of the three events.

  In two other cases this kind of highlights the other point.  It is the opponents trainer who probably deserves credit for preventing a death or a more severe condition.  The ringside doctor in Iowa did not know anything about emergency mediceine of head injuries (he had no business ringside) Ruiz's trainer offered timely effective and probably life saving advice.  It was Lucia Rijker who wound up being Wallber's Guardian angel.  The fact that what amounted to a second layer of safety was available to two boxers shows why a degree of sportsmanship can aid greatly this was coupled with having skilled knowledgeable corner people.  Lucia Rijker smelled trouble and realized the situation was far more severe than others thought.  A great competency of head injuries coupled with strong boxing ethics can a life saver. 

  What happened in Sweden is being investigated for the details.  However at this juncture we have two lessons....one another warning about home town bias and the other lesson is the value of a seconds after the tight acting in a morally correct manner.  Like a pilot or commander of pilots reading about an accident we must look again and try to come to terms with somewhat repetitive lessons.



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