Counting over 1,000 deaths in the past century as well as athletes that have been damaged for life, boxing is considered a dangerous sport. While the debates on whether this game should be banned continue due to the violence, boxing is also viewed as the purest form of combat where men can pin their own body’s strength and reactions against others. Unfortunately for box fans, few actually share the latter opinion and boxing history has been sprinkled with embarrassing and regrettable events. Let’s explore the top 10 fateful moments in box.
1. Duk Koo Kim
South Korean superstar Kim is one of the saddest examples of how cruel this sport can be sometimes. He worked his way up the ladder and earned the right to go head to head against the undefeated champion, Ray Mancini. After receiving a crushing right hand punch, Kim suffered severe brain injury and died a few days later. Consumed by guilt, Mancini would never be the same again while the referee of the match committed suicide shortly after. Because she couldn’t cope with the loss, Kim’s mother also killed herself three months after the tragic event.
2. Panama Lewis
Even though he was world renowned for his excellent training skills, the world knows now that Panama Lewis didn’t back away from using illicit methods to win a game. The most famous incident in this sense is the game between an unknown journeyman boxer Luis Resto and undefeated star Billy Collins Jr. Because Lewis knew his trainee had no chance against Collins, he decided to pour a hardening agent on his gloves. Obviously, Collins was seriously mashed up in the next 10 rounds and he would never fight again after this match. In short, Resto and Lewis’s deeds were discovered immediately and both had been sent to jail; Collins Jr. died one year following the match.
3. Mike Tyson
After being seriously dominated in the first two rounds, Tyson was most likely getting pretty irritated by the fact that he was unable to land any successful punches against Holyfield. Enraged, Tyson entered the third round without his mouthpiece and during a clinch, he rolled his head and bit a one-inch piece of cartilage from the top of the right ear of his opponent and spat it on the floor. Horrifyingly, even though Holyfield has suffered massive trauma, the referee established that the game could continue. However, it didn’t take long before Tyson tried to take another bite of Holyfield’s ears, a deed for which he was disqualified, suspended from boxing and shun by all.
4. Jim Norris
A man whose corruption knew no limits, Jim Norris is said to be personally responsible for severed fixed matches, including Jake Lamotta versus Billy Fox and Harry Thomson versus Max Schmeling. All of that in plain sight, since we’re talking about matches broadcasted on national television. In addition, Norris has apparently managed many boxers at the time – even against their will! – and forced them to hire his associates as advisors.
5. IBF president Bob Lee Sr.
Founded as a sanctioning body, the International Boxing Federation was clearly awarding rankings on subjective criteria. Things got completely out of control when the federation’s president Bob Lee Sr. conspired with chairman Douglas Beavers to manipulate the system so they could favor the boxers whose promoters paid the highest bribes. Although Lee was convicted for racketeering and bribery back in 2001, the organization’s reputation has yet to recover.