Due to the high intensity level of boxing, there is a need for referees to consider the safety of athletes during the fights.
Boxing is named amongst the most dangerous sports because of the injuries sustained by boxers and possibilities of death. Despite that, boxing has continued to grow throughout the world to even include women into the sweet science of the sport.
Boxing is an entertainment activity like any other sport, but the referee and medical doctor have to be cautious not to let a fight get out of hand by being aware of the athletes’ safety inside the ring.
This was said by Botswana amateur Boxing Association (BoBA) referee, Godfrey Kablay.
Caught in the middle of action as the third man in the ring tasked with enforcing rules and ensuring safety between two boxers trading blows, it can be difficult to tell the urgency of safety that the athletes need.
Kablay added that while the referee has to ensure that the fight does not go beyond governing rules by making sound assessment of the situation, it is necessary for the referees to also focus on the safety of the boxer so that they exercise the authority to stop the fight if needed.
He noted that referees take players’ safety as a top priority by doing counts when the boxer has received several blows to allow them to regain consciousness. Adding to that when a boxer is injured, the referee stops the fight and allows the doctor into the ring to assess the injury as to whether Boxer can continue with the fight.
“Boxing is like any other sport, the aim is to entertain not kill. A referee makes a decision based on their personal basis of judgment backed up by regulations on the situation. The referees’ decision differs according to the situation at hand so you assess and make a suitable and fair judgment,”Kablay
Kablay explained BoBA and the governing body AIBA requires an examination of the boxers before, during and after the bouts because boxers are prone to injuries.He adviced that when the ref observers a cut to the facial area, he should command time to examine the cut and if severe take the injured boxer to the neutral corner.
The Referee should immediately inform the supervisor one of two things the type of injury and cause .If the Boxer is not allowed to continue the injury was caused by correct blow, when the injury compromises the boxer to discontinue the fight the referee stops the contest due to injury (RSCI).
On his part BoBA Public Relations Officer Taolo Tlouetsile said, boxing tournaments cannot go on if there is no medical doctor to assist in the safety area.
He observed that boxing is a contact sport so boxers are prone to sustaining injuries so the tournament doctor is there to assist athletes accordingly.
Tlouetsile explained that in boxing a doctor can stop the match if he feels the referee is not protecting the athlete.