Brain injury charity calls for boxing ban after death of Mike Towell

Towell

Towell, from Dundee, died in hospital a day after fighting Dale Evans in Glasgow.

3rd October 2016 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A brain injury charity has renewed its call for a ban on boxing following the death of Mike Towell.

Towell, from Dundee, died in hospital on Friday after a fight with Dale Evans in Glasgow the day before.

The 25-year-old had been carried from the ring on a stretcher before being taken to the city's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where staff diagnosed him with severe bleeding and swelling to his brain.

It later emerged that he had been complaining of headaches for weeks before the fight, but had put them down to stress. However, a spokesman for his management team said they were not aware of any medical issues before the fight. 

This was a young father in the prime of his life and our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and friends

On Monday, the charity Headway expressed its sadness over Towell’s tragic death and called for the sport to be banned “before more young lives are lost”.

Peter McCabe, Headway’s chief executive, said: “This was a young father in the prime of his life and our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.

“Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. It is another in a long line of boxing tragedies where lives have been lost or irreparably damaged as a result of brain injury.”

Towell’s death comes just months after boxer Nick Blackwell was seriously injured following a bout with Chris Eubank Jnr.

After the fight was stopped in the 10th round, Blackwell was rushed to hospital where staff diagnosed him with bleeding of the skull. He was placed in a medically-induced coma for almost seven days.

McCabe added: “We said at the time, and many times previously, that as long as boxing is allowed to continue, more and more young lives will be damaged or lost as a result of opponents deliberately trying to cause neurological harm to each other.

“Tragically, the lessons have not been learned and this young family is paying the ultimate price.”

The World Medical Association and British Medical Association also support a ban on boxing and other no-holds barred fighting sports, said McCabe.

He added: “Boxing is not the only sport that carries risk. However, there is an important distinction to be made between contact sports during which accidents can occur, and sports such as boxing and MMA where the objective is to render your opponent senseless and incapacitate them by targeting the brain and causing neurological damage.

"Quite rightly, the focus at this time should be on supporting the family. But the question remains: how many more lives have to be damaged or lost before this senseless sport is banned?”

Meanwhile, a JustGiving page set up to raise funds for Towell’s partner, Chloe Ross, and their young son has received more than £30,000 in donations.

Ross paid tribute to the boxer on Facebook shortly after his death.

She wrote: “I’m absolutely heartbroken to say my annoying best friend passed away tonight at 11.02 very peacefully.

“It has been the longest 24 hours of our lives. My baby has lost his daddy. But he will be so so proud of his dad in what he achieved.”