Untimely death is always sad and tragic, no more so than in the sport of boxing or related sports. I read the other day about the passing of Lance Ferguson-Prayogg, who died in Nottingham shortly after collapsing after a fight in a ‘semi professional’ boxing contest. The World Boxing Federation extends its condolences to the family of Ferguson-Prayogg during this difficult time.
Following this tragedy, the boxing world immediately questioned the safety regulations pertaining to ‘semi professional’ and ‘white collar boxing’ and as to whether there had been sufficient medical safety precautions at this event in Nottingham which might have possibly saved the fighter’s life. While ‘semi professional’ and ‘white collar boxing’ is separate from professional boxing, the death remains a tragedy and certainly re-opens the continued discussion of safety precautions in professional boxing.
While the WBF are only involved in the sanctioning of title fights in the professional boxing world, the truth is that boxing is a dangerous sport of combat and it is our responsibility, and a responsibility we are extremely serious about, to ensure that as far as possible, fighters are looked after – before, during and after the contest. Tragedies in professional boxing do occur, but we as a sanctioning body have always ensured and will continue to ensure that the safety of fighters is paramount.
The World Boxing Federation’s Executive Committee will be meeting in Germany towards the end of August and this is one of the many items on our agenda. With one of the top medical men in the world, Dr. Adam Balogh, heading the WBF medical department, we will be looking at ways to make this great sport of ours safer for the fighters who entertain and who are the stars of the show. The bottom line is that medical requirements and regulations need to be revisited at all times, and the quest to make this tough sport safer needs to continue infinitely. Lance Ferguson- Prayogg was a young man in the prime of his life, whose life sadly ended far too early. Again, we convey our condolences to his family. RIP – Lance Ferguson-Prayogg.
Howard Goldberg WBF President