Safety measures win Board's approval

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The Independent Online

Frank Warren has reaffirmed his pledge to underwrite the cost of providing sophisticated MRI brain scans for all British boxers.

The promoter attended the Board of Control's annual general meeting in Belfast on Saturday, when the 12-point plan to improve safety in the sport - announced last November - was officially approved by the licence holders, although the measures have been in force for the last seven months.

The now-compulsory Multi Resonance Imaging scheme, enforced after the death of the Scottish boxer James Murray last October, could cost Warren as much as pounds 400,000 for Britain's 800 or so professionals. Warren had called for a trust fund to be set up to be administered by the Board.

The Board's measures had met opposition from a group of Midlands licence holders - purely because of the cost of implementation - but there were no dissenting voices in Belfast.

Other measures to improve safety standards included weigh-ins to be moved to 24 hours before fights; a discretionary power to suspend boxers for 45 days instead of the previous 28 in the event of knockout or stoppage and ringside doctors to advise referees between rounds if they spot "any matter of concern."