IBF 39th Convention Day 2 Report

Report/Photos: Boxing Bob Newman

The morning session of day two of the 39th Annual IBF Convention taking place at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, consisted of the medical seminar with four very interesting talks.

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Dr. Domenic Coletta, Jr. gave a talk entitled, “Ringside Medicine- The Role Of The Physician.” Coletta gave a brief history of the sport, especially in terms of administration and medical involvement.

He then embarked on several bullet points:

  • Profile of a Ringside Physician (usually ER doctors)
  • Medical Testing Review (neurological, EKG, Hepatitis)
  • Pre-fight Exam (pre-existing injuries)
  • Working the Fight (remember your role, don’t get caught up in the fight as a fan)
  • Post-fight (assess any injuries on each fighter)
  • Evaluations/Suspensions (based on injuries)

Dr. Rick Weinstein was up next, delivering his talk, “The Aging Boxer.” Weinstein felt this subject was especially timely with the return, in a sanctioned fight, of Mike Tyson, who will be 58 when he enters the ring against Jake Paul in July. The bout will be sanctioned by the state of Texas, 2-minute rounds will be in effect and the glove size is still being determined, but it is speculated that a larger glove (greater than 10 ounces) will be used.

According to Weinstein, reflexes, endurance, cognition and hormone levels are all affected with age, most certainly in a diminished capacity. Yet, Weinstein gave examples of world class fighters who were active into their late 40s: George Foreman, Antonio Tarver, Archie Moore and even Bernard Hopkins at 51.

Dr. Paul Wallace spoke on “Smartnosis”- a data collection program/app that can be used with a smart phone and/or a smart watch. The Smartnosis assessment tool allows for:

  • Digital pre-bout and post bout assessment
  • Multilingual interface (English and Spanish)
  • HIPAA compliant platform
  • Geo-location (ER and Urgent Care)
  • EMR & EHR Connectivity

The fighter can receive a questionnaire via SMS/email. On the night of the fight, “red flag” (immediate danger ) questions can be asked and answered in less than 2 minutes. These questions are neurologist-approved.

In the days following the fight, follow-up questions can be asked and answered in 6-10 minutes. These questions can allow real-time accurate assessment and reduce frequency and severity of head injuries. This will also allow data collection and prevention which will analyze head injury trends and develop targeted prevention.

Dr. Massimiliano Bianco, director of Sports Medicine at Catholic University in Rome, Italy, gave his talk entitled, “Head Trauma In Boxing…When To Stop A Fight.”

Bianco reviewed concussions and various types brain bleeds. Rotational forces within the brain are due to punches landed via uppercut as well as crosses and hooks. Body language and responsiveness of the stricken fighter are both key to determining when to stop a fight. Several video clips were shown and the assembly polled as to whether there should’ve been a stoppage at all or if the timing of the stoppage was correct.

* * *

After a lunch break, the afternoon session got underway with the judges seminar. This was an all-female affair as the emcee was IBF VP, former judge and NYSAC Chairperson Mevina Lathan. She introduced the two presenters: Diana Drews Milani (Germany) and Robin Taylor (New York). Each lady alternated introducing and discussing aspects of each agenda point.

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The agenda was as follows:

  • Carol Polis (Trailblazer- First female professional boxing judge)
  • Ring officials code of ethics
  • From receiving an assignment to after the fight
  • Today’s word: “Concentration”
  • General review for judges
  • Let’s score some rounds
  • How to handle social media & criticism

Several rounds were scored on video, each with unique circumstances: each fighter going down, ropes holding fighter up, very close rounds with no knockdown, rounds with virtually no action and rounds with non-stop action. Nearly every round shown revealed the actual judges’ scores that night were not unanimous.

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