The World Boxing Council again leads the way concerning safety first, with some new and historic weigh in amendments which will revolutionize the sport.
The set of changes were created by the WBC’s Medical Advisory Board, led by Dr Paul Wallace.
The WBC already has the thirty, seven days and twenty-four hours before the fight weigh-ins. A fourteen days before the fight weigh-in will be introduced, plus another weigh in on the very day of the actual bout.
At thirty days a fighter can weigh no more than ten percent higher than the contracted weight. At fourteen days, it can be no higher than five percent. At seven days, not in excess of three percent. After the official weigh-in, on fight day the fighter must weigh no more than ten percent above the weight limit stipulated for that division, which was achieved twenty-four hours before the bell rings to start the bout.
The new weigh in rules will come into force in June. The ten percent rule on fight day, will start in January. Also from January onwards fighters must present an annual MRI scan.
Dr Wallace explains that this is to resolve the hitherto insoluble problem of dehydration and rehydration. He says some boxers are going through appalling extremes to lose weight. That they can be between twenty and fifty percent heavier than their weight category, so this needs to be reformed.
Dr Wallace warns that a five percent water loss in trying to make fight weight is serious, but a ten percent water loss is critical. Performance is decreased, as well as cardio vascular function. Cramps, increased risk of brain injury, strokes, permanent kidney malfunction plus personality change. While women boxers can suffer hormonal imbalances.
Dr Wallace insists that boxers should be fighting within their weight classes, and those who think they are getting a huge advantage, by squeezing down lower via running themselves into the ground, steam baths, and hot towels must not be allowed to get away with this old flannel. He also warns:
“It’s unbelievable what our athletes are doing to their bodies. The WBC stands out as a leader and health and safety. Its nutrition program is very detailed. You can see what should be done and it makes common sense. I’m preaching to the choir!”