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World Boxing Council promise stern action against rabbit punching

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The World Boxing Council has released important information regarding ‘The Prichard Colon Rule’ over rabbit punching dangers.

WBC chiefs are urging Referees to be more vigilant and more strictly apply the rules concerning rabbit punches, which are putting boxers’ lives in grave danger.

A recent incident in the Dominican Republic landed boxer Tomas “Gusano” Rojas in hospital after his opponent Ranfis Encarnacion hit him with a rabbit punch. Rojas collapsed and had convulsions in the ring. He was rushed to the hospital and mercifully seemed to have recovered. The Referee deducted two points from the offending fighter and then disqualified him.


A rabbit punch is terribly dangerous because the lower area of the neck, which is called the Medulla Oblongata, is where the spine connects to the brainstem. Punching to this area is strictly forbidden because it can lead to paralysis and catastrophic brain damage.

In 2015 boxer Prichard Colon suffered terrible and permanent injuries in a fight against Terrell Williams due to rabbit punches. He could not answer the bell for the tenth round, collapsed, had a brain bleed, and went into a coma for two hundred and twenty-one days.

Although Prichard survived, his injuries are exceptionally severe and permanent. Prichard will never be the same again. He is learning how to communicate via a computer.

Rabbit punches are a savage throwback to another era, where serious fouls were mistakenly and wrongly considered part of Boxing’s so-called freeform rough and tumble. This included deliberate head butting, thumbing, lacing, heeling, palming, pinching, kneeing, and biting. While many of these foul practices have been stamped out, rabbit punching persists.

The WBC is not only urging Referees to have a zero-tolerance to rabbit punching. We want to advise trainers to thoroughly discourage it by ordering boxers to immediately and permanently desist and abandon it. R

Rabbit punching is not accidental. It is a deliberate foul that often occurs in clinches.

Prichard Colon Rule World Boxing Council



The Prichard Colon Rule, which the WBC officially sanctions, involves:

The initial warning concerning rabbit punches was given in the Referee’s locker room with the instructions before the fight.

We recommend that Referees be even more specific. They were especially explaining the horrendous injuries this foul could and did inflict. Leave no doubt in the fighter and team’s minds that this will NOT be tolerated.

The Referee may immediately stop the action. Warn an offending boxer who punches behind the head.

After the warning, any continuous action or retaliation must be immediately addressed by the Referee with a firm warning and a point deduction.

Referees have the authority to warn, deduct points or disqualify the offending fighter.

We strongly recommend that firm action be taken IMMEDIATELY when a rabbit punch is thrown before the situation deteriorates and a medical crisis occurs. A zero-tolerance to rabbit punching MUST be immediately applied, which means Referees have the duty to disqualify the offender instantly.

This decisive action will deter those who have chosen to involve themselves in dirty fight tactics via a ruling insisting and underlining that this WON’TTbe tolerated.

Furthermore, the lives of boxers are at risk. Referees must take strong, prompt, and appropriate disciplinary action.