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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

DE LA VEGA: THE COTTO-KAMEGAI FIGHT – A POST SCRIPT AND PHOTOS

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
28 Aug 2017



Although prize fighting is a vicious contact sport, in my very short exposure to the so-called “sweet science”, I was always made to believe that the object in the end is for one fighter to win the match without unnecessarily exposing both fighters to injuries.

The key word here is “unnecessarily”.

There are times however when we have seen bouts that for some reason or another were allowed to finish to the end of the scheduled rounds even when one fighter has no chance in hell to score a win even by a chance knockout of his opponent.

When I see such bouts my medical background takes the better in me because I know concussions can happen during the bout with results manifested either during the bout, shortly thereafter or even after several years. There is no point in allowing a fight to continue beyond a certain point when it is obvious that the losing fighter will only be unnecessarily exposed to injuries. I need not point out Ali and Roach who we know have suffered or are suffering from medical afflictions secondary to concussions to stress this point.

Folks directly involved during bouts should therefore be constantly reminded of these.

Perhaps, our referees should have more frequent required continuing education seminars to keep them focused on the fact that their actions on the ring dictates the future of the fighters. And, aspiring referees should pass a both a written and a practical test before being allowed to manage a fight.

We should also upgrade licensing procedures for boxing trainers, and the cornermen that works with the fighters during a bout. As it is now, anyone who can pay the fee is given a license to work the corners without the Commission's (at least in California and Nevada) determining the capabilities of these people to get their job done right. That rule needs to be changed!

It would not hurt if cornermen are required to pass a simple exams to determine their capabilities to recognize at what particular point and time they must act to stop a fight for the good of their fighter. A lesson on infection control will not hurt either, particularly to the so called “cut-men”.





Case in point: The Cotto-Kamegai Fight

It was clear that after the sixth round, Yoshihiro Kamegai didn’t have even an iota of a chance to beat Cotto. While it is true that he never stopped charging towards Cotto, his punches carried nothing that Cotto could not handle. In the few instances when he landed a clean punch, Cotto did not even blink an eye.

On the other hand, every time Cotto connects solidly, Kamegai’s head snaps backwards or sideways. Such sudden movement from impact of such punches rattles the brain inside the skull that surrounds it causing injuries.

From the point of view of all the auxiliary media people up at the press box covering the fight, the fight should have been stopped right around round 8 when Cotto can almost hit Kamegai at will without getting hit in return.

It was amazing to watch referee Dr. Lou Moret seemed to appear unconcerned about the uneven fight happening before his eyes. From our perspective, and we hope we are wrong, Moret unnecessarily allowed a fight to continue even perhaps knowing that it's one-sided and Kamegai had no chance to win the fight.





Fighting back by throwing punches should not be the only criteria to determine if a fighter still has a chance to win, particularly when the punches no longer have power behind them.

We only hope Moret’s actions or rather; non-action will not contribute later down the line to health issues for Kamegai.

The cornermen of Kamegai should also be put on notice. We recognized their wish for their fighter to win but there are times when the safety of the fighter comes first. In this case, we felt the cornermen were hoping against all hopes that Kamegai may land a clean punch and KO Cotto. They could not be any more wrong. Their fighter was clearly overmatched and has no chance to win the fight.


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