Boxing well down sports injury list, says Boxing Scotland coach

Nick Blackwell
Nick Blackwell fought Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday

Boxing Scotland's top coach claims that his sport sees fewer injuries than the likes of rugby and swimming.

The British Medical Association renewed calls for boxing to be banned after middleweight Nick Blackwell was placed in an induced coma following his defeat to Chris Eubank Jr.

"I've done the research myself," said national performance coach Mike Keane.

"Boxing is well down the injury list, including concussions and injuries to the head.

"Cycling, swimming and rugby are all way above us with injuries and damage."

Blackwell's British middleweight title fight on Saturday against Eubank Jr left him with a small bleed on the brain.

Keane, who has coached fighters for over 30 years, believes the present focus on the dangers of boxing is unfair and also feels fighters and parents alike will not be put off boxing after the events of the last few days.

"Overall, contact sport is going to come with some sort of risk, but there is no 100% evidence to suggest when and where an injury is going to occur," said the man who oversees the coaching of Scotland's 1,500 registered amateur in 112 clubs across the country.

"A boxer that perhaps has a brain injury might well have had the same injury outwith boxing."

Scotland's first winner of a British women's title, Stephanie Kernachan, is also defending her sport amid the current controversy.

"I've been boxing for nine-and-a-half years and the transformation that boxing has had on me is amazing," she said.

"From going from a really, really shy girl to a really confident woman."

The 23-year-old says that she has had friends this week in the wake of Blackwell's injury trying to stop her fighting.

"I have had conversations with them saying 'that's why we don't like boxing because it's really dangerous'," she added.

"But, to be honest, in my career so far, I've only had a cut lip or black eye - I've never really been hurt."

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