Call to ban boxing following death of South Yorkshire fighter

Scott Westgarth
Scott Westgarth
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The death of Sheffield-based boxer Scott Westgarth has led to renewed calls for the sport to be banned.

Scott, aged 31, died in the early hours of Sunday morning, having fallen ill after outpointing Dec Spelman at the Doncaster Dome on Saturday evening.

His death is the third in British boxing in five years, and follows high-profile incidents in which the lives of Nick Blackwell and Eduard Gutknecht were threatened following their respective defeats by Chris Eubank Jr and George Groves.

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It has also again cast a negative light on the sport, and contributed to brain injury charity Headway demanding it be outlawed.

"Boxing is a senseless waste of life and the time has come for it to be banned," the organisation's chief executive Peter McCabe said. "Scott Westgarth and many others before him should not have been allowed to lose their lives or sustain needless brain injuries through sanctioned acts of deliberate violence.

"We are repeatedly told that all professional fights have doctors at the ringside, but serious questions need to be asked about the medical provision that was available for Scott's fight.

"There is simply no way to make boxing safe, and to allow more lives to be lost in this way is unacceptable and completely irresponsible."

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Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, said: "I've spoken to the doctors and officials in charge and am satisfied with the procedures.

"It's a terrible thing that's happened. My condolences to all of his family."