As popular as it is, boxing has some of the worst ever recorded sports related injuries. As fighters get stronger the chances of devastating knockouts increases substantially. Trauma related injuries are a concern for fighters, repeated blows to the head can result in brain damage.
Life threatening injuries are a potential outcome of pro boxing however it’s not as bad as it sounds when you take into consideration the number of individuals who box.
In this article we’ll be taking a look at some of the worst boxing injuries. The complications that came with them and long term affects on fighters. Heres a list of some of the worst injuries in boxing:
- Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson
- Chris Eubank jr vs Nick Blackwell
- Jack vs Browne
- Lennox lewis vs Vitaly Klitschko
- Erik Morales vs Marcos Maidana
Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson
|Year||Stadium size||End result|
|28 June 1997||MGM Grand||Evander Holyfield|
Its fair to say this may be one of biggest fights in boxing over the last 50 years. Holyfield and Tyson put on an absolute show for the fans. Both fighters were in tremendous shape, and fought a fantastic fight. The ruthlessness and tenacity of mike Tyson has never been matched since he stepped foot in the ring. The night of the fight Tyson was agitated, Holyfield had been head-butting and outboxing him for majority of the fight.
What happened next resulted in the fight ending quicker than anticipated. Whilst in a clinch Tyson bit into Holyfield’s ear drawing blood. The referee and judges instantly new something was wrong as Holyfield jumped up and down in pain, complaining the referee about what had just happened.
This fight showed how punching isn’t the only risk when boxing. When fighters loose control nobody knows exactly what sort of injuries the fight may end in. This gruesome attack is caught on video we’ll let you check it out for yourself.
|Year||Stadium size||End result|
|March 2016||Wembley Arena||Chris Eubank jr Victory|
A crazy fight that resulted in a devastating outcome, Eubank vs Blackwell shocked the world. The fight started with what fans believed was a fair trading style bout, where both fighters landed good shoots. The entertainment soon ended when Eubank Jr started dominating the fight extensively. At this point Blackwell was taking a lot of punishment. It was clear that the fight should be over however it continued for some time.
Once the fight was over Blackwell, was in some discomfort, he got rushed into hospital and was thought to be dead for some time before he was resuscitated. This devastating injury resulted in him being in a coma for some time before eventually recovering.
We’re not going to bore you with the medical details however, it’s clear the body(especially the brain) does not react well to repeated blows. Fighters do experience horrible symptoms after competing which are often masked by the media.
The video clearly shows this one sided fight. Its pretty bloody, however if your are interested give it a watch. After the fight, many boxing critiques argued about the positions of the corners, judges and referee. The injuries Blackwell endured were horrific and could have been prevented if everyone showed a bit more concern for the fighters.
Jack vs Browne
|Year||Stadium size||End result|
|2019||MGM Grand||Browne Victory|
One of the worst ever recorded cuts in a boxing match. This fight showed fans how violent can be. What happened next could off resulted in the end of Baddoo Jacks boxing career as well possible surgery and extensive hospital visits.
Brownes accidental head-but was what caused the cut. At this stage its the fighters, referees and corners job to determine whether or not they want the fight to continue. Sometimes the brutality and adrenaline means all parties want the fight to continue which is some cases can be dangerous however thats the name of the game.
After the fight it became clear that the cut could have been life threatening. Not only did Baddoo Jack loose blood but the positioning of the cut meant a big artery could have been seriously damaged. This would have resulted in further complications. A cut of this size of location could have been fatal.
Boxing is a contact sport and when heads collide, especially at pro level the possible outcomes can be extremely dangerous.
Lennox lewis vs Vitaly Klitschko
|June 2003||Staples Center||Lennox lewis Victory|
In the heavyweight title bout between these two fighters the eye and face of Vitaly was a continues concern after round 3. After watching this fights, its clear that both fighters are past their best and need to retire.
This makes the fact of the cut even more interesting as boxers always have the capability to do serious damage all throughout their career. Like with many boxers, it’s the high level of determination and courage that sometimes results in the injuries being worse than they had to.
This sacrifice is part of elite boxing and it praised. A fighter with heart is considered a great champion. Fights such as this are considered classic heavyweight bouts. This does not take away from the fact that the amount of brain trauma, scar tissue and concussions that were insured in this fight could leave a fighter seriously injured.
When watching the fight, commentators are repeated showing concern for the eye of Vitaly. Suggesting he may have serious visual impairments if he continues to take so much punishment.
Erik Morales vs Marcos Maidana
|2011||MGM grand||Maidana Victory|
Many boxing fans view this bout as a fanatic show of skill and determination in the sport. The fight looks good for the history books but the damage done to the eye of Eric Morales may be more serious than perceived.
In the first round Maidana landed an upper-cut. This is nothing out of the ordinary however it was thought that his thumb dug into the eye of Morales, causing it to instantly close up. It stayed this way until the end of the fight. It’s fair to say the fight could have been stopped as soon as vision becomes compromised.
The Repeated blows after sustaining a serious injury were devastating. Not only does it make the injury worse at the time but could result in irreparable damage.
Fighters such as Morales and Maidana have extremely high levels of resilience, with the judges, referee and corners of fighters being aware of this fact some could argue it was their job to throw in the towel.
As the die hard boxing fans in the arena watch the fight, the same message of you can still fight with an injury in ingrained into them. This mentality has the potential to make the sport of boxing more dangerous than it needs to be.
Boxing is a contact sport, which makes it dangerous, theres no two ways about it. However what you’ve seen in this article is some of the best fighters throughout history. Injuries of such consequences do not take place on a regular basis.
Learning what kind of injuries are possible in boxing is defiantly something worth considering. We believe when done in a safe environment learning the skill of boxing is a fantastic way to learn self defence. However the risks are always there.