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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Mother's fight to get son boxing
15-year-old boxer
Daniel wants to become a professional boxer
A Cheshire mother is threatening to go to the European Court of Human Rights to force boxing authorities to let her diabetic son fight.

Joanne Larkin's 15-year-old son Daniel is restricted to sparing at his local gym in Chester because diabetics are banned from amateur bouts.

She said the rules discriminate against him and wants them changed.

But the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) said it would be too dangerous for the teenager to compete.

Daniel, from Waverton, Chester, has been boxing for three years but is restricted to friendly spars at his gym - when all he wants is to compete.

"It's my decision - I know what I'm capable of," he said.

Joanne Larkin
Diabetics are allowed to enter into any other type of sport and competition... why not boxing?
Joanne Larkin

"I have been doing it for three years so I don't see what just going to another place and fighting would be so different."

Daniel said the ban is frustrating because he wants to become a professional boxer.

Diabetics are allowed to compete professionally and past competitors include Buster Douglas and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Mrs Larkin plans to consult lawyers about the likelihood of challenging the ABAE rules.

She said: "Why isn't it discrimination? Diabetics are allowed to enter into any other type of sport and competition. Why not boxing?"

But the ABAE said that, unlike other sports, boxers cannot control the amount of energy they use in combat.

ABAE medical commission chairman Tony Attwood said: "The opponent may change his tactics and the diabetic boxer has to respond - and there is no way that person can train for that event."

Joanne Larkin talks about her son's desire to box

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