Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Because Human

As I previously mentioned, mentioned, [SUBSEQUENT COMMENT: I'M REDUNDANTLY REPETITIVE!] I entered a comment at the Las Vegas Review Journal web page in response to a Joe Hawk article about the appropriate punishment for Michael Vick.

Then I asked a second question.

[I]f dog fighting is evil, what about human fighting? Should promoters and commissions who abuse human fighters spend a half decade behind bars, thinking about what they've done?

To be fair, the Las Vegas Review Journal, despite its location in Vegas, has run articles that were critical of the sport of boxing. These items ran in December 2000:

Ingle still stable after tracheotomy

SHEFFIELD, England -- Boxer Paul Ingle underwent a tracheotomy to ease his breathing during a drug-induced coma.

Doctors said the former International Boxing Federation featherweight champion remains in stable condition and his condition did not change significantly overnight.

Ingle was injured during his 12th-round loss to South Africa's Mbulelo Botile on Saturday. The 28-year-old Englishman has already had surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain.

Also: With boxer Michael Watson in court in a wheelchair, Britain's Boxing Board lost its appeal of a ruling that said it was liable for the fighter's brain damage.

It now faces a $1.5 million compensation claim from Watson, who was injured nine years ago during a World Boxing Organization middleweight fight with Chris Eubank.

And here's part of an article that the Review Journal ran earlier in the year:

The Nevada Athletic Commission denied a request by former champion Terry Norris for a boxing license Tuesday by a 5-0 vote.

"We believe there is evidence of chronic brain injury," said commission vice chairman Lorenzo Fertitta, who made the motion to deny the request....

"We are talking about (risking) permanent brain damage," commission chairman Dr. Elias Ghanem said.

Flip Homansky, chairman of the commission's medical advisory board, said whether Norris still had boxing skills was not the point.

"He could be the best athlete in the world," Homansky said. "You put him in that ring and let him take more blows, he is a time bomb.

"The potential is very great that he could develop the classic punch-drunk syndrome, or Pugilista Dementia."

And how about those closest to Norris?

Joe Sayatovich, Norris' former manager, who was at the meeting as Norris' adviser, asked the commission to at least grant Norris a conditional license and judge his physical condition based on a tuneup fight.

Sayatovich said if the commission didn't like what it saw in the tuneup fight, it could "pull his license."...

Norris said he had slurred speech "before I started fighting."

"I think I'm fine," he said.

Sayatovich said Norris is difficult to understand because of a "lazy speech syndrome."

Commission executive director Marc Ratner played a tape of a 1994 television interview of Norris, and he did not have slurred speech at that time.

Sayatovich said Norris' speech improved because he saw a speech therapist, but that it has regressed as a result of depression over losing his title and going through a divorce.

And now, in 2007, the official story on Terry Norris' website has...um...a new perspective.

Terry Norris hung up his gloves in 1997 after a glorious and spectacular career, with a 47-9 (31 KOs) pro ledger.

Forget that little attempted comeback in 2000. And as for Norris' buddy Joe Sayatovich, Jet had some unkind words for him in 2004:

Boxing prometer Don King recently agreed to pay $7.5 million to former boxer Terry Norris, who claimed that King stole money from him.

Norris, former World Boxing Council superwelter-weight, filed a lawsuit seven years ago, contending that King loaned $200,000 to Norris' manager, Joe Sayatovich, and then conspired with Sayatovich to pay Norris less for his fights than he was owed.

Norris suffered brain damage from all his bouts in the ring and was broke at the end of his career.

So if Michael Vick should get five years in the pen, how much time should Don King do?

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