plan could save lives

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing SA's director of operations, Loyiso Mtya wants ringside doctors and fight supervisors to be given power to influence referees to stop fights.

But it is unclear whether the idea will be taken seriously by the board of Boxing SA as well as the boxing fraternity.

"I will recommend to the board that doctors and supervisors must in future interact with referees," Mtya said.

"In the end it will be referees who will actually be the ones to stop fights, but still referees must interact with doctors and supervisors between rounds. I hope this idea will be given a hearing by all involved in our next convention."

Mtya sobbed like a baby at ringside at Park Station last Saturday after witnessing Amon Baloyi collapse after taking a pounding from Patrick Malinga.

Baloyi failed to defend the South African lightweight belt, which Malinga finally won after failing against Mzonke Fana in 2001 and Isaac Hlatswayo in 2004.

"There is always a conflict of interest on the side of cornermen who often hang on hope that their fighters will deliver a haymaker," Mtya said.

"Referees are faced with many things such as noise that may confuse their judgment at times. I insist that the burden must not lie with cornermen and referees alone but also with doctors and fight supervisors."

Mtya also thinks that pre-fight medical must in future be done 20 days before fights to enable the boxing commission to monitor any health worries.

"Doctors should do full check-ups, [test for] diabetes, pressure and dehydration because most troubles are caused by shedding too much weight. We have a history of serious weight problems.

"We want our fighters to be healthy and fit both physically and mentally going for their final pre-fight [test], which is three days prior to the fight," he said.