Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fair Play: A boxing ban is not the right move

ANY death is tragic, but the death of 16-year-old Jonas Joshua Garcia is even more as his came days after collapsing in the boxing ring.

Cebuano Z Gorres suffered the same injury but hye survived because he was fighting just minutes away from the best trauma center in the world.

Right then and there, his promoter Michael Aldeguer said, they operated on him and that saved his life.

Jonas didn’t have that luxury and so did a few other professional boxers who passed away. Even those who fought in the US.

Now, the Department of Education has to answer one crucial question. Should they ban boxing to prevent more boxing deaths?

I hope not because that’s not the right move.

Besides, if the government really wants to spare kids from danger in school, how come there are still bullies and frats?

Banning boxing from DepEd meets to avoid ring deaths makes as much sense as banning the sales of hammers in malls to foil the martilyo gang.

But that doesn’t mean of course, that the DepEd just hope Jonas Garcia’s death will be the last and change nothing with the way they do things.

One of the many suggestions that makes sense is one made by a neurosurgeon who was interviewed on TV--for DepEd to require boxers to have comprehensive scans, not just a check up by a general practitioner--before they join a competition.

That test, the doctor said, might save a lot of lives.

And here’s mine. Hold the boxing meets near hospitals that can deal with a major trauma, not in the outskirts. If that means Cebu and Manila holding meets regularly while the venue of the Palarong Pambansa rotates among the provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, then so be it.

Jonas’s case deserves further study as it is the first I’ve heard of an amateur boxer dying after a bout, not just in the Philippines, but worldwide.

Banning boxing in DepEd meets would be a big blow to the amateur program in the country as all these boxers start their career in school meets, before moving on to become members of the national team.

Boxing may be a dangerous sport, but like all sports, you can minimize the dangers.

Eliminating boxing doesn’t eliminate the threats.

Doing the right thing, might.

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