Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini vs. Duk Koo Kim

Ok, after a couple of lighter-hearted posts, I have this...
Today is the anniversary of the tragic boxing mis-match between Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and Duk Koo Kim in 1982. Moments after the match was over, Kim collapsed into a coma. He died days later. Per Wikipedia, Kim's mother committed suicide four months later and the referree of the bout committed suicide the next year. Mancini was haunted for years . For more on this story, check out this ESPN article. This Mancini-Kim fight changed the boxing rules pretty dramatically.
So, a few weeks ago I read someone commenting that MMA was so much safer than boxing because the flexibility in the MMA ruleset does not force the athletes to stand and take a pounding as in boxing. I don't box and I don't do MMA, but I know several of my readers do one or both of these, so I figured y'all would have some perspective on this.


  1. I remember that Mancini-Kim fight. Not long after they reduced 15-round world title fights to 12.

    I don't have any stats available, but there have been numerous boxing deaths through the years. My understanding is that MMA is relatively safer for now. Time will tell.

  2. I'm a big fan of MMA and I'd like to think that they are safer. At least they crow about that fact now quite a bit. Every since Dana White bought UFC things have been very good. It's tough to watch boxing with the perpetual beating continuing until someone is barely functioning.

  3. First and foremost that fight was in no way a mis-match. It was a toe to toe brawl even up until the last punch. It's a tragic ending to an otherwise difficult fight to call. That being said the safety zone mma creates is the lack of a count. When a fighter stops protecting themselves the fight is ended rather than having eight seconds to try to recover and then get hit again. Also, with a four ounce glove it's very unrealistic that one could deliver or withstand 1/8 of the number of punches a 16 oz glove allows. The punchers hands would break or the person being struck would be cut open much more quickly. In the end, as long as the referees are on their toes, mma has safer rule, but combat sports are dangerous. Eventually somebody will die in a sanctioned mma match, most likely from an elbow, knee or a head kick.


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