January 14, 1983

Boxing Should Be Banned in Civilized Countries

JAMA. 1983;249(2):250. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260068037

The principal purpose of a boxing match is for one opponent to render the other injured, defenseless, incapacitated, unconscious. No caring person could have observed the events in professional prizefighting in the past few months and not have been revolted. No prudent physician could have watched the most recent debacle/mismatch on Nov 26, 1982, between Larry Holmes and Randall "Tex" Cobb and believe that the current boxing control system is functioning. The fact that this massacre came on the immediate heels of even more tragic fights serves to accentuate the uncontrolled situation.

The American Medical Association recognized this problem some time ago, and its Council on Scientific Affairs commissioned a panel to study the problem and to make recommendations. The report, presented on page 254 in this issue, is the official AMA position. It is solid, balanced, and reasonable. It operates with the assumption that boxing cannot be stopped, so