Boxing ban ruled out after fighter's death: BMA calls for inquiry, but Government says safeguards are in place and defends individual's right to choose any sport

THE Government yesterday ruled out a ban on boxing despite demands from the British Medical Association for an independent inquiry into boxers' safety after the death of a British title contender on Thursday night.

Bradley Stone, 23, collapsed at his girlfriend's flat hours after being stopped in the tenth round of his fight last Tuesday against Richie Wenton for the new British super-bantamweight title. The east Londoner had a blood clot removed from his brain, but never came out of a coma.

At the East End gym where the boxer trained, a Union flag flew at half mast yesterday. 'Not a solitary person is training here today. Everyone is sitting round in total disbelief and shock,' a spokesman said. Meanwhile, Mr Wenton, 26, is reported to be considering his future in the ring.

The death has once again raised concerns over whether boxers are adequately protected when they enter the ring. Dr Jeffrey Cundy, of the BMA, said: 'When you box you aim to hit your opponent's head. In doing that you cause permanent damage to the brain. People should not be engaging in boxing. We are not moralising about this. We are talking about the medical effects.' The British Safety Council also called for a ban and criticised the sport's administrators.

But Tom Pendry, Labour' spokesman on sport and a steward of the British Boxing Board of Control, said calls for a ban were a knee- jerk reaction. 'Where there is room for improvement, there should be improvements. But you cannot wrap up the nation in cotton wool and say you cannot have any contact sports.' He defended the board, describing British boxing as 'the best controlled in the world'.

Iain Sproat, the minister for sport, said: 'The Government's line is that as long as there are proper medical safeguards anybody is entitled to pursue the sport that they wish. We have done something about it, which is to see that proper medical controls should be in place.'

According to figures released by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, three boxers have died in action since 1986. The society concluded that the most hazardous activities were mountaineering with 72 deaths, motor sports with 91 and horse riding with 92.

The Professional Boxers' Association will meet the board of control next Tuesday, and although the meeting was arranged some time ago, discussions will be dominated by the implications of the tragedy.

Colin McMillan, a former world featherweight champion and the association's secretary, said: 'The British Board is doing as much as it can, but we feel there are still measures that can be introduced.'

One would be to extend the period between the weigh-in and the bout to allow boxers who dehydrate to reach the correct weight enough time to replace liquids. The PBA will also recommend the introduction of ring-side anaesthetists to sedate and stabilise boxers in need of urgent attention.

In particular, Mr McMillan said the PBA would be pushing the board to explain why it sanctioned Stone's title tilt just 53 days after he was stopped in his previous fight. 'Having been stopped before, Bradley would not have been in the best condition to take on a title bout.'

Simon Block, the board's assistant general secretary, said it had sent for reports from medical officers at last Tuesday's fight and would be conducting an inquiry. 'Few other sports, if any, are as strictly controlled as boxing, but our regulations are not set in stone,' he said.

John Sutcliffe, the neuro-surgeon who operated on Mr Stone, said: 'It is a terrible waste of a young man's life, but it does not make me want to ban boxing any more than I would want to ban car driving or climbing trees. We see about 100 patients a year with very similar injuries to Bradley Stone's. Very few are due to boxing.' He does not support a ban on the sport but argued for a tightening of regulations to make it as safe as possible.

Leading article, page 14

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Arts and Entertainment
Ella Henderson's first studio album has gone straight to the top of the charts
music
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

Life and Style
fashion
News
Paul Nuttall, left, is seen as one of Ukip's key weapons in selling the party to the North of England
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand labelled 'left-wing commie scum' by Fox News
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
Arts and Entertainment
artKaren Wright tours the fair and wishes she had £11m to spare
News
i100
Life and Style
Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh been invited to take part in Women Fashion Power, a new exhibition that celebrates the way women's fashion has changed in relation to their growing power and equality over the past 150 years
fashionKirsty and Camila swap secrets about how to dress for success
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
booksNew book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Year 5/6 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Permanent Year 6 TeacherThe job:This...

KS1 & KS2 Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: KS1+KS2 Teachers required ASAP for l...

Year 2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 2 Teacher The position is to wo...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past