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Home » Exclusive: Buddy McGirt reacts to James Ali Bashir assault

Exclusive: Buddy McGirt reacts to James Ali Bashir assault

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Legendary trainer and former world champion Buddy McGirt has called for rule changes following the shocking assault on James Ali Bashir.

At the recent Claressa Shields vs Ivana Habazin weigh-in, Bashir was involved in a disagreement before the scaling.

A Shields team member confronted Bashir as he attempted to run the rule over a practice run.

The disagreement became heated before Bashir went backstage to be with Habazin.

Moments later, Bashir was lying on the floor with blood pouring from his mouth from what could have been a deadly sucker punch.

Bashir was rushed to hospital for treatment on a badly swollen face before being released. Days later, he was recalled due to possible bleeding on the brain.

The whole episode was shocking. McGirt now wants to see coaches protected through the exclusion of personnel.

Buddy McGirt speaks to World Boxing News on James Ali Bashir’s assault

“It’s a shame what happened. That’s what makes boxing a black eye,” McGirt told World Boxing News exclusively.

“That’s why the entourage should stay in the crowd with everybody else at the weigh-in. They have no reason, the entourage, to be on the podium – none whatsoever.

“What are they there for, the pictures? The only ones who should be active on the stage are the fighter and the commission. No managers, no people with no camera, no.

“The most important people, the fighter, commission, and the head trainer, that’s it. If everybody stayed in the audience, in their lane, then we wouldn’t have these problems.

“Everybody’s got to come to the stage with 20 guys. One thing is this: you have 20 guys on the stage with you, but when the bell rings, they won’t be there for you.

“They’ve got to return to how it used to be.”

On potential consequences for the perpetrator, who remains at large as police investigate, McGirt said: “Without a doubt (there should be a punishment). That was uncalled for.

“The man was doing his job, and by looking at the scale, that’s his job. That’s what he’s there for – on the stage.

“For someone to get up and start arguing with him and for someone to sucker punch him, you know, it’s ridiculous.”


Mark Taffet, acting manager for Shields, provided the most up-to-date information on Bashir’s condition over the weekend.

He stated: “I just spoke again with James Ali Bashir. Thank god he has been released from the hospital and is now at home resting and recovering.

“Bashir is a man of great mind, body, and spirit strength. All of that is helping him at this time. I pray for a full and speedy recovery!”

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