Boxers need more help with sports-related fatalities

More Assistance for Boxers and Families


Boxers who have witnessed fatalities first-hand are pleading for more help when tragedy has struck. The British Boxing Board of Control is being tasked with offering better pastoral care and more counselling for boxers and families that have been affected by tragedy. This is in the wake of continued investigations into the shocking death of Scott Westgarth, which continued on Tuesday.


Death after the 10th Professional Fight


Westgarth, at only 31-years old, passed away on Sunday, mere hours after he managed to cause an upset and claim a points victory over Dec Spelman. The fight was an English light-heavyweight title eliminator which took place in Doncaster, and was Westgarth’s 10th pro performance. Reports are still being put together, but it is understood this far that he felt poorly in his dressing-room after the fight, and was then taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, where he ultimately died.


The Third Fatality in Five Years


Westgarth is the third boxer to die in just five years in the United Kingdom, with Michael Norgrove passing away in 2013, and Mike Towell in 2016.


Tom Bowen was the other fighter in the ring in 2013, and he subsequently quit boxing after Norgrove died. Bowen spoke of his overwhelming grief for the Westgarth family after this latest boxing tragedy, and talked about his guilt over Bowen’s death four years ago.


Bowen stated that he was deeply sorry about what had happened, and acknowledged what a terrible tragedy this was for the Westgarth family. He stated that he felt that more chaplaincy should perhaps by done because it was such a difficult thing to cope with. Bowen said that he recalls that he got only one phone call from the board when Norgrove died in 2013, and that he felt that the Board could do a lot more.


A Full Inquiry Being Undertaken


The Secretary of the BBBC, Robert Smith, is making sure a full inquiry is being conducted into the events, and stated that the Board was more than willing to look at better ways of dealing with tragedies like this one.


Smith stated that the Board had already made contact with the Westgarth family, and with the boxer’s opponent, Spelman, in which help was offered.


When he was asked whether he thought that enough pastoral care was in place, Smith responded that the Board called, but that it was a fine line between being overly involved and not doing enough. He spoke of everyone being affected by what had happened being very raw, and that space was often what was most needed.


Should Boxing Be Banned?


As punters who enjoy the eSports betting Australia offers will tell you, it is not many sports that have a long list of fatalities occurring, and there are calls for the sport to be banned in the wake of this most recent tragedy.


Bowen, however, stated that, for the most part, boxing changed lives for the better, and improved the options for fighters. More aftercare for those struggling to deal with death, however, would not be remiss.



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years