Robert Smith: Michael Norgrove death shows the danger of boxing

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith on July 23, 2011
© PA Photos
British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith insists that the death of Michael Norgrove was not a result of any procedural failings, but a tragic result of the inherent danger of the sport.

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith has insisted that the death of Michael Norgrove was not a result of any procedural failings.

Smith believes that the tragedy was a result of the inherent danger of the sport.

Norgrove died in hospital on Saturday, nine days after the 31-year-old developed a blood clot on his brain during his sixth professional fight against Tom Bowen at The Ring in Blackfriars, London.

Referee Jeff Hinds had stopped the contest in the fifth round after becoming concerned by the light-middleweight's behaviour. Norgrove subsequently collapsed and was immediately taken to hospital.

"We are one of the strictest authorities in the world," Smith told BBC Radio 5 Live. "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 an acute injury can't happen.

"We all know the dangers that boxing has, every boxer that participates knows the dangers. As a governing body we put in place all the medical provisions we possibly can, but of course these things still happen."

The last boxer to die in a British ring was Scottish bantamweight James Murray in Glasgow in 1995.

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