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Sunday, 17 December, 2000, 09:53 GMT
Boxing's latest inquest
Paul Ingle
Ingle's injuries will re-open the boxing debate
By BBC Five Live's John Rawling

The serious injuries suffered by Paul Ingle in his International Boxing Federation Featherweight title fight against Mbulelo Botile have already forced people in boxing to ask questions.

The point of contention will focus on why Ingle's corner, his trainer Steve Pollard and manager Frank Maloney sent him out for the final round after he had been floored in the 11th and to virtually every ringside reporter appeared spent.

It only took 20 seconds for that observation to become gruesomely apparent as a left hook from Botile knocked him to the canvas and his head struck the floor and the dreadful events began to unfold.

He never looked comfortable from the opening round when he was stung badly by a left hook from the South African challenger but had managed to stay in the fight because of his usual fitness and determination.

Signs of distress

There was no evidence building up to the fight that there was anything wrong with Ingle.

He had spoken of having 140 rounds of sparring and said he was fitter than ever and was even talking of stepping up in weight to face Brazilian Acelino Freitas.

During the fight, his nose was damaged, his eyes were cut and he clearly was in distress, but I certainly did not pick up anything to suggest that he picked up any haemorraghing before the final rounds.

But along with the rest of the commentary team, it was noticed that his work had lacked the usual snap.

Minor classic

I don't believe that another boxing injury changes the perception of the place boxing has in society. It is a moral decision of everyone involved who participates in it.

If you don't like it, don't watch and don't listen.

The fight overshadowed the top of the bill contest that followed, which was a shame because it was a minor classic, fought in great spirit between two men who are good friends outside the ring.

Woodhall had matched him punch for punch until the ninth round whern a volley of head shots from Calzaghe saw him sink to the floor by the ropes.

Twenty eight seconds into the 10th round, Roy Francis, 65, who was refereeing his last fight before retiring as an official, made a perfectly-timed intervention after a seventh defence of his title and Woodhall saying he would relax with his family to consider his future.

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See also:

17 Dec 00 |  Other Sports
Oliver hits out at Ingle's cornermen
16 Dec 00 |  Other Sports
Calzaghe beats pal to retain title
16 Dec 00 |  Other Sports
Freitas fires warning to Hamed
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