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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/23/2005 7:21:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 7:21:35 AM EDT by thompsondd]
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9379233/


Boxer dies 5 days after lightweight title fight
Johnson succumbs to brain injury, passes away ‘peacefully’
The Associated Press
Updated: 10:05 p.m. ET Sept. 22, 2005

LAS VEGAS - Boxer Leavander Johnson, critically injured in the biggest fight of his life, died Thursday at a hospital where he was rushed with bleeding on the brain.



The 35-year-old’s kidneys had failed and his heart was not pumping on its own when family members decided to remove him from life support, his doctor said.

“We had no further mode to improve his prognosis, so the family very correctly made the decision to withdraw care,” Dr. William Smith said. “He passed away very peacefully.”

Johnson collapsed on his way to the dressing room after taking a beating in his IBF lightweight title defense Saturday night against Jesus Chavez. Doctors were operating on him within 40 minutes to relieve pressure on his brain, but he never came out of a medically induced coma.

Smith said he performed a second operation Monday to remove a blood clot but Johnson was too gravely injured to survive.

“He suffered a very severe injury. The problem is that the injury was to the brain itself,” Smith said. “In some cases, the punishment is absorbed by the skull, but in this young man’s case, the brain absorbed the punishment itself.”

Johnson’s promoter, Lou DiBella, said Johnson’s family members were present when he died. Johnson’s father was his trainer and his brother was his manager.

“What a wonderful guy this was. And I’ve never met anybody so proud or so grateful to achieve his dream,” DiBella said. “If there’s any solace to be taken in this, it’s that he died doing what he loved. He died a champion.”

Doctors were initially unsure Johnson would make it through the night after being injured during the fight at the MGM Grand hotel-casino, but the next day Smith expressed cautious optimism after tests showed improvement in brain function.

Johnson, who was from Atlantic City, N.J., spent 16 years as a professional fighter before finally winning a version of the 135-pound title in June. But, in his first defense, he took a beating from Chavez before finally being stopped by a flurry of punches in the 11th round.

He walked from the ring, but on the way to the dressing room began showing signs of an injury. He was rushed to University Medical Center where Smith operated on him to relieve pressure from a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain.

“There’ll be a lot of people who’ll take pokes at boxing for this. We can be better for protecting our athletes. But this was not a situation where anyone failed Leavander Johnson,” said DiBella, who knew Johnson for more than 10 years. “It was just God’s will. It’s a sport that’s inherently dangerous.”

DiBella said Johnson’s father, Bill, said Chavez was “blameless in this tragic situation.” Chavez visited Johnson in the hospital the day after the fight.

Smith said it was not clear whether one punch or an accumulation of punches in the fight caused a swelling so pronounced that it pushed Johnson’s brain from the right side of his skull to the left.

He said doctors also don’t know for sure whether fighters who take a lot of punches during their career are more susceptible to brain damage. Johnson was in his 41st pro fight and had more than 100 amateur fights.

“It’s a tough question to answer 100 percent. Certainly, some evidence suggests repeated blows over time will make a person able to resist a major injury less well,” Smith said. “His reserves for recovering from this were much less than had he never had taken the blows over time.”

Johnson’s death follows the July 2 death of Mexican boxer Martin Sanchez, who died a day after he was knocked out by Rustam Nugaev of Russia in a super lightweight fight in Las Vegas. That death was the fifth in the ring since 1994 in the city.

Before Sanchez died, two other fighters suffered brain injuries but survived after fights this year in Las Vegas.
© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Damn.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:22:31 AM EDT
I saw Boxer dies and started to get excited... as in Babs Boxer (D-CA).
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:24:28 AM EDT
Damn. I love the sport of boxing, and I am always disheartened to learn of a pugilist's death from a boxing injury.

Rest in Peace, fighter.

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:28:45 AM EDT
Its the gloves. Allows your face to take more punches, but does nothing to protect the brain. So far, MMA hasn't had this problem with their little knuckle gloves.

Perhaps boxing should move back to those.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:35:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Its the gloves. Allows your face to take more punches, but does nothing to protect the brain. So far, MMA hasn't had this problem with their little knuckle gloves.

Perhaps boxing should move back to those.



Agreed. If anything the gloves are harder on the brain. That extra 16oz of mass makes a big difference.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:40:28 AM EDT
Thats a good point. A fist has a smaller area of impact.

I wonder if MMA #'s would be higher as time goes on? Not as 'old" as boxing?



Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:44:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:
Thats a good point. A fist has a smaller area of impact.

I wonder if MMA #'s would be higher as time goes on? Not as 'old" as boxing?






Valid point. But from what I've seen if someone's really getting pounded they either get KO'd quick or the ref stops the fight. As long as they remain as cautious as they are I think it should remain a safer sport.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:45:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thelastgunslinger:

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Its the gloves. Allows your face to take more punches, but does nothing to protect the brain. So far, MMA hasn't had this problem with their little knuckle gloves.

Perhaps boxing should move back to those.



Agreed. If anything the gloves are harder on the brain. That extra 16oz of mass makes a big difference.



I'd almost rather get hit bare knuckle.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:03:21 AM EDT
I really like boxing and have been watching since I was a kid. My father took me to the fights once where a boxer died. It is a dangerous sport. It is usually an accumulation of punches that does the real damage. Heavier gloves give more hand protection, and distribute the blow over a wider area. Unfortunately, it has a side effect of letting the punishment accumulate. I prefer the 10oz gloves, because the 16oz gloves made my hands feel clumsy.

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:06:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NevadaARshooter:
I saw Boxer dies and started to get excited... as in Babs Boxer (D-CA).



+1000.....there's ALWAYS hope!
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:09:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NevadaARshooter:
I saw Boxer dies and started to get excited... as in Babs Boxer (D-CA).



Me too. Shame on me for wishing something bad on such a nice person. My own senator even.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:18:55 AM EDT
Unfortunately boxing is unlike the UFC. You can't exactly tell when someone is not "intelligently defending" himself.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:28:15 AM EDT
The gloves and fighters weight are what the problem is, escpically in the lighter weights. They don't hit as hard but hit alot more, those hits add up and cause seriouse internal bleeding problems. This doesn't happen as often in the heavier classes, less punchs and more knock outs, also in MMA there are way less punches and a much higher percentage of stops and KO's. MMA is just a safer sport in this aspect.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:31:07 AM EDT
i wish they'd use the headgear...this guy was a boxer for 16 years! all those hits to the grape are cumulative and you WILL be affected somewhere down the line.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:36:07 AM EDT
The gloves and wraps protect the hands...

If you've ever had a crushed knuckle, dislocated finger or broken wrist, you knew this already.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:40:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 8:41:45 AM EDT by SNorman]

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Its the gloves. Allows your face to take more punches, but does nothing to protect the brain. So far, MMA hasn't had this problem with their little knuckle gloves.

Perhaps boxing should move back to those.



Yeah the gloves are pretty much there to protect the hands from injury.

^^^^ OK Sub-MOA beat me to it
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:43:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:43:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Damn. I love the sport of boxing, and I am always disheartened to learn of a pugilist's death from a boxing injury.

Rest in Peace, fighter.




+1...
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 8:46:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
The gloves and wraps protect the hands...

If you've ever had a crushed knuckle, dislocated finger or broken wrist, you knew this already.



The gloves also allow roundhouse punches that were not done in bare knuckle boxing. Bare knuckle was very brutal, blood wise, but it didn't have near the risk of massive head injuries of modern boxing. At least they have round limits now...way back in the old days some bouts would go over 50 rds...
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