21
Nov
2019

EXCLUSIVE: Buddy McGirt wants changes after James Ali Bashir assault

Phil Jay 13/10/2019
Buddy McGirt Sergey Kovalev

📸 David Spagnolo

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 prior to 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 made his way 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 suckerpunch.

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.

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

“That’s why at the weigh-in entourage should stay in the crowd with everybody else. 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 actively on the stage is 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 stays in the audience, stay 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 got 20 guys on the stage with you but when the bell rings they ain’t going to be there for you.

“They’ve got to get back to the way 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.”


UPDATE

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 w 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 strength of mind, body and spirit and all of that is helping him at this time. I pray for a full and speedy recovery!”

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay (article transcribed by Assistant Editor).

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