Boxing Day 2018: Should It Be Called CTE Day?


I always appreciated the former countries of the British Empire like Canada, Australia, and England itself appreciating those who go into the ring to risk life and limb in a fight.

I watched a series of Mike Tyson fights for a morning. Was he the best fighter who ever lived in his early days? He was a real killing machine. We worry about the damage to the brain caused by head injuries in football; what about boxing. Watch some of his bouts and all you can think about is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which is the term for brain damage. We associate that with  repeated blunt impacts, like head tackles in football. Did you know that 99%  of all NFL players brains that were examined had CTE?

I’m sure some will suggest that it was Mohammed Ali who was the best. Well what is nice about Boxing Day is that no one boxer is chosen, we can take our pick. You like Ali then you think of him today.

You see the British were clever in just honoring all boxers. In America we used to honor just presidents Washington and Lincoln who deserved that honor; but then we changed it to honor all presidents including the likes of Clinton and Nixon, calling it Presidents Day. We have a chance to pick and choose who we like to remember. Unfortunately it diminishes the roles Washington and Lincoln played in our history. I wonder if kids will be taught about them any more. After all no reason they should because they were “old white guys.”

It’s not so important that children be  taught about boxers since they don’t affect the destiny of the country.  Also unlike presidents it is sometimes hard to decide who was the greatest, although Mohamamed Ali put that crown on his head. There’s one article worth reading if you are in a quandary over trying to decide between Tyson and Ali.

No matter which one of them you choose you still have to consider others to be fair. How could you possibly overlook Joe Lewis?  was the greatest. Others say, “you’re only looking at the heavyweights what about the lower weight classes?”

Thinking of these guys with their skills and looking at their lives after boxing how do you escape the idea that CTE did not play a big role in their actions. Neither Ali or Lewis went out without having quite a bit of mental trouble. Poor Ali was terribly hampered; Lewis was probably not much better but his collapses were covered up attributing them to his drug use. Has any study been done on CTE in boxers? Just take the first few opponents of Mike Tyson and see how they are doing now. How is it we allow boxing to continue? Why do the United Kingdom and its former possessions celebrate such a sport?

Of course they don’t have Boxing Day because of the boxers, it is because of the boxes. You see the British who run the country wanted to celebrate Christmas fully which required their servants to be present to attend to them. So the servants worked on Christmas while those who employed them, the upper class or those of royal birth usually, could enjoy the day without any inconveniences. The day after Christmas they gave to the servants as a holiday. They would also hand to the servants boxes of goodies, mostly left overs from their feasts, that they could take home to their families to enjoy. Being for the most part what we call “good Christians” they sacrificed this one day although most servants had to be back after the lights went on to draw their baths.

So what we celebrate today is a box and not a boxer. Too bad, it would have been nice to have had a day for those ring warriors who get their brains splattered about trying to be contenders. Anyway, happy Box Day.






19 replies on “Boxing Day 2018: Should It Be Called CTE Day?”

  1. Yes, John. Providence is tough. That lightweight division back then was loaded. Lots of great fights and fighters floating around that and the surrounding divisions. Do you recall Cornelius Boza Edwards. Ugandan fighting out of England originally. Talented kid. Arguello was a favorite. His battle of attrition with Jim Watt was classic. And his left hook that put Rubin Olivares down was as good as can be thrown.

    And speaking of CTE, once a superb welterweight world champion, Wilfred Benitez is now in diapers and living with his mother. He has the intellect of a three or four year old. When he dethroned Antonio Cervantes I hated him. Cervantes was a huge favorite of mine. But as I watched Benitez continue with his career I was blown away at his boxing skill. He was a master. Now he has nothing but the love of his family.

  2. Tommy Attardo is one of the classiest guys around . Good with his hands . That’s a pedigree Rather !!!

  3. Butch Attardo and sons, Cliff McDonald, the DeLuca brothers,…taught me how to box as a kid in the early 70’s at the good old McKeon post…and can’t forget the “Big Night” once a year across the street at Florian Hall when we fought in a real ring in front of a crowd.

  4. I see it is testosterone day for squishy squishy
    peanut man and the irregulars

    in other news

    What Inmates Are Saying About Trump Possibly Going to Prison

    also see

    Former candidate avoids disbarrment but gets 3-year suspension of law license
    Lawyers representing the Board of Overseers of the Bar had argued for Seth Carey to be disbarred for violations including sexual assault, witness tampering and failing to comply with a previous interim suspension order.


  5. How right to mention the lighter divisions. Chacon v. Limon. Four fights the record was 1-1-1 coming into their fourth. The third was stopped and the referee walked out of the ring. “I’m not going to be responsible for a death.” Neither fighter would back up.
    The fourth? More of the same. Going into the last round pretty even. Near the end of the round Limon (I think) wavered and fell to the canvas. The ref was going to stop it with seconds left. Limon begged him not to as he struggled to his feet. Chacon knew the fight was his by that last round. Limon was done and would have been knocked out if Chacon just breathed on him. In what was one of the most gracious and respectful acts in sports, Chacon walked over slowly enough for the clock to run down. The bell sounded-the fight, the fight was over. The gesture will live forever.

    1. Great story. There are many great stories that are forgotten by most or never even come to the news.

      When Danny “Little Red” Lopez was ruling the featherweight division, Wide World Of Sports had all of his fights on. Those Saturday afternoon matches along with many others kept me off the streets for years. Danny would take off his signature headdress of eagle feathers and take a beating, a real beating, for many rounds and then explode into hard, accurate flurries of tremendous power. That second wind came from somewhere uncharted on maps of the human body. It was so predictable. It was a matter of when, never if. He was on one afternoon and we wondered, who is the piece of meat they are throwing him today. It was a relatively unknown Mexican kid. Sanchez. It was stopped in the 13th with Sanchez the stunning winner. In the rematch it was the same. 14th round. Danny Lopez went across the ring and put his headdress on Sanchez and gave him a hug. A new king was crowned.

      1. Good Good Good , I do know that Vinny Paz changed Dana Rosenblatt’s life with that one punch . Dana not a bad fighter or individual at all . He completely underestimated Pazienza ..
        . That was a serious advantage for the guy wearing the Halo !!!

        Providence is tough .

        1. Cordon Sanitaire … Freeh goes oedipal on Daddy Matty . Hey , Ms.

          Why are you so angry at Daddy Matty .

          This is bullshit .

  6. I do know that he was front and center on Jimmy Connolly’s Wall of Honor at Connolly’s Gym.

    Jimmy, the Gentleman .

    Jimmy was proud of that picture. Taken in the Gym . SOUTHIE

  7. Right , Ali was not one of the greatest fighters who ever stepped to it .

    He had so many detractors it was hard not to be stepping in it all the time .

    The Sky is blue btw

    And smelling like a Rose

  8. Ali was a fraud. He changed his name from Clay to Ali because he didn’t want a slave’s name. He was a votary of the criminal Malcolm X. Most of the Black Africans taken from their homes and sold into slavery were taken by Arabs in North Africa. Less than half went to the New World. Ali changed his name to a slave driver’s name as did Jabbar and X. Not very bright. No historical perspective.

    1. He would have toyed with Tyson. He was not a fraud as a fighter. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t a fraud at all. People that get into a ring often have little historical perspective. Lew Alcindor knew exactly what he was doing when he converted to Islam.

      Ali also isn’t in my top ten favorites. Salvador Sanchez was the greatest small fighter I have seen. I think Dempsey was a great fighter but a chicken shit when it came to fighting some of the great Black fighters. An amazing guy but I wish he were not a racist.

      Hagler was the best middleweight I have seen. Yes, even SRR included. Robinson was a close second but he would not have gotten to Hagler. The greatest chin in middleweight history.

    2. Wa-llahi! NC: That’ s sheer ignorance unleavened by empathy. The major slaving stations on the aptly named “Slave Coast” of West Africa were run by the the British, Portuguese, and, Dutch. The Arabs ran their business from Zanzibar (a long way from North Africa). NC someone’s been filling your head with racist crap. You need a flush.

  9. That’s your problem Matt . You don’t know a Champion from a Contender because you have only ever been a Contender . Don’t envy or belittle Champions, transcendent figures , like Ali . Your box obsession has to do with death and your not ever seeming to think out of that box .

    Good News for you, Matt , but you will have to wait some good time yet .

    DEAL WITH IT !!!

  10. It would be great to read much more about non-heavyweights. I wonder about the extent to which CTE has affected them.

    Heard the other day a fine story about a Southie kid in the early ’60s who broke a priest’s nose. But the event didn’t occur inside a boxing ring, nor did it occur on Boxing Day nor on Christmas.

  11. 26 December, Boxing Day, is day 2 of the 12 days of Christmas. St Stephen’s Day. He was the first Christian martyr. It is the day when the Christmas Carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’ takes place.

Comments are closed.