Boxing and Bare-Knuckle Boxing are two combat sports that have been compared a lot by many sports fans. But while both use fists in the fight, one is much “safer” than the other.
Despite their dangers on fighters, these sports are very entertaining to watch. There are betting markets for boxing, and many websites offer guides on how it works.
Although boxing uses gloves to “cushion” the impact of the blows, it is much more dangerous than bare knuckles.
The American Medical Association discovered that 15 to 40 percent of former boxers have symptoms of chronic brain injury. This injury, according to Mayo Clinic, is the result of a “violent blow or jolt to the head or body.”
Getting hit with a hook on the head is dangerous, and the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee and other entities proved it. They discovered that a hook has the greatest punching force, which can cause NFL-like impacts.
This means that a hook is basically a move equal to blunt-force trauma. It also depends on who is hitting.
If a heavy-hitter like Mike Tyson unleashes a vicious hook, there is a chance that the receiver of the punch will have brain damage.
Deaths in Boxing
From the year 1890 to 2019, there have been 1,876 boxers who have met a tragic end after receiving injuries during the fight. On average, at least 13 boxers die whenever they step on the ring.
In 2022, former boxing champion Moises Fuentes met his end after suffering the after-effects of his last fight against David Cuellar in October 2021. Fuentes was knocked out in the sixth round, and after careful examinations, it was discovered that a blood clot had formed in his brain.
He went to surgery and survived. However, his injury put him on a ventilator.
Another recent casualty of the sport was a South African boxer who died while being in a state of delusion.
Former boxer Simsimo Buthelezi was fighting Siphesihle Mntungwa when things took a gruesome turn. Buthelezi knocked down his opponent but began punching the air before the bout resumed.
The referee officiating the game noticed something was wrong. He ordered the stoppage of the fight and had Buthlezi rushed to the hospital, where he fell into a coma.
A few days later, he died in the hospital.
There have been many deaths in boxing. If compared to bare-knuckle boxing, you will be surprised.
Bare-Knuckle: Brutal But Not Deadly
Since its legalization in 2018, only one incident cost the life of a bare-knuckle boxer. The most common injuries in this sport are lacerations.
The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery found that bare-knuckle boxers suffer lacerations more often than fractures. Out of the 211 injuries they examined, 184 were maxillofacial injuries.
Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship president Dave Feldman insisted that the sport is not as barbaric as people think.
“All the data compiled tells us we have less injuries than boxing and MMA, less facial fractures, less head trauma, less hand breaks, less major injuries.
“Do we have more lacerations? Yeah, we definitely do. But for that, we have a staff plastic surgeon who stitches up all the fighters before they leave,” he explained.
It is understandable since a bare-knuckle fight is more violent than boxing or MMA. There are also arguments that those who do not use gloves tend to hold back their punches, unlike in boxing.
But because it lacks the cushion, fighters are more likely at risk of having broken teeth and noses. It can also lead to broken hands and fingers since no gloves protect them.
Which is Safer? Bare-Knuckle or Boxing?
It is still early to say whether bare-knuckle is safer than boxing. So far, there has been only one casualty in the sport that is not widely accepted because of its extreme violence.
Despite its brutal nature, the sport’s rules have been amended to make it safer for those inside the ring. No scientific evidence can support the general belief that it is more dangerous than traditional boxing.
Still, it is important to remember that no combat sports are safe. There will always be the risk of getting injured.
Those who want to practice these sports must prioritize safety, so it is best to learn the safety precautions before training.