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Australian Medical Association calls for National Boxing Regulation

In light of the death of professional Queensland boxer Braydon Smith last Saturday night, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has questioned why the sport is allowed to continue.

“We believe that a so-called sport where two people knock each other in the head as often as you possibly can to win a bout seems rather barbaric,” said Queensland AMA president Dr Shaun Rudd. “You’re not allowed to hit the organs beneath the belt whereas you’re allowed to hit the organ above your shoulder, which is the most important organ in the body.”

Mr Smith passed initial ringside checks by a doctor before and after the fight, but collapsed 90 minutes after the fight concluded. He was put into an induced coma at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital but never regained consciousness. His life support was turned off on Monday.The 23-year old featherweight’s death comes just four years after that of Alex Slade, who slumped to the canvas in the fourth round of a fight in Mackay in October 2010.

Sports Lawyer Tim Fuller was involved in discussions with the Queensland Government in 2010 revolving around regulating contact sport, however, nothing had been done since.

“The sport is continuing to essentially operate in a very unregulated manner,” Mr Fuller said. “How many deaths or injuries does it take before they’re brought into the fold like all other major sports?”

According to Mr Fuller, Queensland is the only state that does not regulate boxing and it needed to move to bring all boxing bodies under one controlling body and governance. Most Queensland associations organise and regulate their own bouts with their own safety guidelines.

Boxing Queensland president Ann Tindall said the sport is no more dangerous than other contact sports. 

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