NSAC institutes changes to increase fighters’ safety

After the 2005 ring deaths of Martin Sanchez and Leavander Johnson in July and September respectively, The Nevada State Athletic Commission has instituted a series of changes to lessen the possibility of fighters dying in Las Vegas in the future.

The changes concern state funding, the weight of boxing gloves, ringside drinks, ringside physicians, medical exams, drug testing and trainers.

Sig Rogich, chairman of the five-person panel that recommended the changes, told the AP, “Above it all, if the boxers are in better shape as a result of what we’re doing here today, the boxing matches are going to be better in my opinion. You’re going to have boxers that are healthier, so no one is out anything.

“I think what we do here will change boxing because other states will follow suit. Nevada’s always been the forerunner. We will continue to be, just because of the nature of what we do here in this state.

“This is not a perfect science,” Rogich added. “Boxing is a brutal sport by nature.”

The new rules allow drinks like Gatorade to be used in corners in addition to water to replenish dehydrated fighters. Three doctors will be need to be ringside instead of the present two and will be required to examine all boxers at the final bell.

Also, fighters 135 pounds and up will be required to use 10-ounce gloves; in the past, fighters 147 pounds and below were able to use 8-ounce gloves, but no more…