Is Boxing a Safe Sport?

From Quora:

“As others have said boxing is not ‘safe,’ and so are many other sports. But for obvious factors, there are a number of reasons boxing may be less safe or more risky than other sports. Even throwing a punch may dislocate your shoulder.

I cannot find the source for this image. No copyright infringement intended.

“(Groves dislocated his left shoulder by throwing a punch in Groves v Eubank)

“But think about it; based on data that you might want to look up for yourself, sports like horseback riding are less safe than boxing. Is this surprising? The point is that you can think about how unsafe or high risk it is but until you know what constitutes these risks, you don’t know how likely these risks are. (Hint: it is not likely if your know what you are doing.)

“Notice how most of the answers are written by people who do not say whether they have boxed. I would take these answers with a grain of salt. Hung Le, having practiced “nearly 2 years,” is still a novice with the preconceptions of a typical novice. Michael Faxxoff’s answer is more what I’d expect from someone who knows how safe or unsafe boxing/fighting is. Anybody can see, based on what she merely watches, that boxing has a high risk for injury, but few know what constitutes these risks.

“I’d like to point out that most people base their conclusions of boxing’s safety on what they see (not based on experience) on, say, HBO or YouTube compilations. For one, these are pros who try to “amuse” (in the poorly chosen words of Hung Le) the fans by getting a TKO or KO. Also, these are highly skilled, very experienced fighters who know how to TKO or KO, thereby increasing the risks that make boxing unsafe. If you watch amateur boxing, rarely is there a TKO or KO. I might even be justified in saying that rarely are there punches that stun the boxers.

“As for my own thoughts on boxing’s safety, I’ve been boxing for ~6–7 years; I’ve been stunned maybe twice and never been TKO’d or KO’d. I see boxing as having obvious risks for novices that overstep their bounds. If I should do something in the ring that is inadvisable (like punch myself out), I would possibly get hurt. This depends on against whom I’m boxing. But with my experience I know how to keep boxing very safe for me (and my sparring partners). I regard boxing as generally safe except for the times when it is not. (Vague, I know.)”

Hopefully, this answers anyone’s questions about how dangerous boxing is.

Author: Loc Ho

Loc Ho was assistant coach, team captain, and boxed at 139 lbs, 132 lbs, and 125 lbs for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s boxing team from 2016-2019. He has trained hundreds of novices and seasoned athletes and created the program’s year-long training curriculum that has taken complete beginners to elite collegiate competitors. With Loc as assistant coach for three years, the program placed six athletes regionally and nationally, including the program’s first men’s national champion at 119 lbs and a national runner-up at 195 lbs. Loc is currently studying law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

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