Friday, September 02, 2011

No Holds Barred: Andre Berto, Jan Zaveck, Pediatricians Against Youth Boxing

On this audio edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the September 3 fight between IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck and former WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto, and discusses the statement by Canadian and American pediatricians opposing youth and adolescent boxing.
Jan Zaveck (31-1, 18 KOs), based in Germany and born in Slovenia, will be coming to America to try to defend his IBF belt against an opponent, Andre Berto (27-1, 21 KOs), who is coming off the first loss of his professional career. This fight takes place Saturday, September 3, at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, and will be telecast live in the U.S. on HBO.
For the 27-year-old Berto, who lost his WBC belt to underdog Victor Ortiz in a wild fight in April, this fight against the lesser-known Zaveck is a must-win. Berto has already been involved in several action-packed fight-of-the-year candidates, and is expected to try to make a statement following his defeat by Ortiz. The 35-year-old Zaveck, who won his title against South African Isaac Hlatshwayo in South Africa in December 2009 with a third-round TKO and has successfully defended it three times, wants to make his own statement in his first fight in America.
We spoke with both Andre Berto and Jan Zaveck on a media conference call about what to expect in this fight.
We also comment on the policy statement issued this week by the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled "Boxing participation by children and adolescents".
In this statement, published in the journal Pediatrics, these organizations "oppose boxing as a sport for children and adolescents" because of "the risk of head and facial injuries", including concussions and other neurologic injuries.
As more people and organizations are becoming aware of the health dangers caused by concussions, we examine this statement and assess what it might mean for the future of the combat sports.
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