We have, after all, two sports in which a primary objective is to concuss your opponent. Boxing has been on the ropes (at least here in the States) for years due to a combination of incompetence and perceived corruption, not to mention competition from MMA. Despite MMA’s growth, I cannot see either surviving in its present form other than underground. Am I wrong? I don’t follow either (though I do enjoy a good boxing match), so it’s quite possible there are aspects of which I’m not aware.
I dont think MMA is as bad for concussions as boxing is
I am not a boxing fan so this is mere speculation, but I don’t see boxing going anywhere. Couple reasons.
Revelations about the effect of concussions in football is fairly new. The punch-drunk boxer has been around for a long time (Merriam-Webster cites the first use in 1918) and there’s not a great hue and cry to end organized boxing. See also for reference, Muhammad Ali and Rocky
Boxing involves only a fraction of the participants that football does. And even in youth boxing, correct me if I’m mistaken here, the objective isn’t to knock out the opponent but to land legal blows using proper technique. In youth football, the kids are encouraged to hithithit from even a young age.
Boxers may take blows to the head in training, but they probably only take really hard hits during actual fights, which may not occur very frequently. Football players not only get hit in practice, but they take multiple hits during every game for an entire season, season upon season.
So no, I don’t think that boxing or MMA will go down the parth that football will inevitably go.
Boxing you can win by submitting to the vagaries of the scoring system that IMO doesn’t do that well for close fights or by inflicting enough trauma (frequently head trauma) that the opponent cannot continue.
MMA introduces submission holds as another route by letting people grapple unlike boxing. That’s a way to stop the fight with a win without concussing your opponent. A fair amount of the fights I’ve seen (small sample) involve a lot of grappling as opposed to boxing match which is by rule all about striking. Fewer blows to the head on the surface makes it appear less risky from a concussion standpoint.
That may simply be rank ordering the horrible for the athletes fighting sports though. That rank ordering might matter as the growing concern about concussions starts with the worst offenders.
I want to say no simply because concussions are inherent and expected in the sport given the lack of safety gear.
Football has this giant revelation because it was never EXPECTED to have concussions, and it was never expected to have them this often/bad
An interesting way to reduce concussions:
Sugar Ray Leonard didn’t need headgear when he was an amateur; neither did the Spinks brothers. (IIRC, it was the Soviets that kept demanding “no headgear” for some reason.)
However, I have a feeling the change in the scoring system is just asking for problems. Aren’t there enough examples of bad judging in pro fights (cases in point: Pacquiao-Bradley I, and the recent Bradley-Chaves draw) without giving amateur judges a license to judge politically?