• Light-middleweight

Smith defends procedures following Norgrove death

ESPN staff
April 7, 2013
Robert Smith insists the death of Michael Norgrove was a result of an acute injury which could have happened at any time © PA Photos

General secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control Robert Smith insists the organisation's medical procedures were not to blame for the death of Michael Norgrove.

Norgrove collapsed in the ring on Thursday March 28 during a fight against Tom Bowen, with referee Jeff Hinds ending the bout after noticing unusual behaviour from Norgrove. The Zambian, who was based in London, was taking part in his sixth fight since turning professional in 2010, and had recorded victories in every fight before the clash against Bowen.

The 31-year-old light-middleweight was quickly looked at by medical staff after collapsing and immediately taken to hospital. On Saturday, it was announced he had passed away after suffering a blood clot on his brain.

And in light of the tragedy, Smith has defended the way his organisation carried out the procedures. "We all know the dangers that boxing has, every boxer that participates knows the dangers," he said.

"As a governing body we put in place all the medical provisions we possibly can, but of course these things still happen. We are one of the strictest authorities in the world. This is an acute injury that can happen any time. He had his medicals done and had his brain scans done.

"There was nothing there of any concern whatsoever, otherwise he wouldn't have been in the ring. He was a fit young man but we can't guarantee an acute injury can't happen - no doctor in the world can guarantee that. Procedure-wise, everything worked extremely well but this is the nature of the sport we're in. Michael did this because he wanted to do it - every boxer that steps into a ring does it because they love it."

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