The American Medical Assn. has renewed its call for a ban on professional boxing amid evidence that severe eye injuries are far more common than the sport's leaders contend.
A study in the AMA's journal reported that boxing blows caused nine cases of detached or torn retinas treated at one Philadelphia hospital between 1983 and 1985. The World Boxing Council issued a statement in 1981 saying "retinal detachment . . . is not a common occurrence in boxing."
This finding, along with previous evidence of chronic brain damage associated with professional boxing, supports the AMA's 1984 call for a ban on the sport, said Dr. George Lundberg, editor of the Journal.
"The organized brutality of boxing has become widely recognized for what it is," Lundberg wrote, arguing that a "major difference between boxing (and full-contact karate) and all other contact or collision sports is the intent to win by deliberately harming the opponent."