Trainer: boxing is 'safer than football' and about fitness

DES Upton has been training amateur fighters for almost 30 years and believes boxing is still "one of the safest sports going".

He spoke to The Morning Bulletin after the sudden death of young Toowoomba boxer Braydon Smith after a featherweight bout on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old collapsed 90 minutes after the bout and his life support was turned off in a Brisbane hospital on Monday.

Related stories:

AMA calls for boxing ban after fighter dies

Bigger gloves may help avert injuries: boxing trainer

Tears flow for boxer Braydon Smith

Boxing regulation fees a knockout blow to sport: promoter

Scientist urges players to get head knocks checked


Following Braydon's death, doctors have called for the sport to be banned in Australia. But Des, who knew the Smith family, said Braydon's father would have taken all precautions before allowing his son to fight.

Des said as a trainer, he wouldn't let his boys box if they weren't up to the challenge and was prepared to throw in the towel if a match wasn't going well.

"You don't let them get hurt," he said.

Des trains between 15 and 20 boys, but said most of them were there for fitness, not fighting. If someone wanted to fight, Des said he talked to their parents first.

Des said boxers had full medicals each year and light medicals before they entered the ring.

He said it was rare for fighters to be knocked out in amateur boxing, but those who did had 28 days off before having a full medical.

Des said injuries were inevitable in any sport, but boxing remained safe.

"It's safer than football, but I would never condemn football because I love the game," he said.

What readers had to say about the AMA's call to ban boxing in Australia:


Sports injuries

The number of sports injury hospitalisations by type of sport

All codes of football combined, 34%

Cycling, 8%

Wheeled motor sports, 6.9%

Roller sports, 4.5%

Equestrian activities, 4.3%

Basketball, 3.6%

Cricket, 2.5%

Other and unspecified sports, 10.1%

Source: Australian sports injury hospitalisations 2011-12

ROADWORKS: Expect delays on the Bruce Highway

Premium Content ROADWORKS: Expect delays on the Bruce Highway

Roadworks are commencing both north and south of Marlborough.

NAMED: Who will be key to Capras under-16 campaign

Premium Content NAMED: Who will be key to Capras under-16 campaign

Young guns counting down to season kickoff in Cyril Connell Challenge.

Police search for man who harassed, threatened motorist

Premium Content Police search for man who harassed, threatened motorist

“The male driver of the HiLux sounded the horn, flashed lights and signalled for...