Sports Outside the Beltway

Nevada Boxing Commission votes to allow instant replay

The Nevada State Athletic Commission adopted two major rules changes at its meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday that could have a significant impact on boxing in the fight capital of the United States.

In two 5-0 votes, the commission approved the use of instant replay for boxing and mixed martial arts bouts and also amended a rule that previously did not allow fighters in either sport to apply for a license in the state if they had previously suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.

Both new rules are expected to go into effect in September, said Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada commission.

How will instant replay work? Will it interfere with the flow of a boxing match?

The use of instant replay was adopted on a limited basis and will be at the sole discretion of the referee. Kizer said it will only be used when an injury forces a fight to be stopped.

“An eye poke, a cut, something along those lines,” Kizer said. “The cut happens, the fighter cannot continue and the referee makes a call whether it was caused by a punch or a head butt. If he feels the use of replay will help him be sure, he can review it. It’s no different than the NFL. If the replay is inconclusive, the initial call stands.”

That makes perfect sense. I remember some Marvin Hagler fight(Vito Antuofermo?) being stopped because of his opponent’s excessive bleeding. Hagler’s opponent claimed the cut was a result of a head butt but the fighter Marvelous Marvin was fighting often led with his head.

Replay will not be used, Kizer said, to determine such things as whether a knockdown is caused by a punch or was a slip.

All sports today seem to be in need of dragging when it comes to the use of technology. Why should a sporting event be decided in a infalliable and often wrong fashion, if instant replay can prove conclusively a mistake was done?

Since 1972, Nevada rules prevented a fighter who had suffered a head injury, such as a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain), from applying for a license, even if the injury was not related to fighting and there was no longer evidence of it in medical testing.

That rule is what prevented fighters such as heavyweight Joe Mesi and lightweight titlist Edwin Valero from asking Nevada for a license after injuries.

But with advances in medical technology, the commission revisited the rule and took its unanimous vote after a recommendation from Dr. Albert Capanna, a neurosurgeon and chairman of Nevada’s medical advisory board, which also approved of the rule change.

This I feel is a bad decision. The history of boxing has clearly shown brain bleeds can happen and if not with with fatal consequences then with permanent brain damage occurring. Errorring on the side of caution would be more prudent.

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