Having Your Father In Your Corner Will Kill You

You would think that a headline like the above would be some sort of gross exaggeration or a misreading of the facts in a study. No no, good people, no no: daddy will make you dead without even wanting to. That’s the lesson from the World Boxing Council’s annual convention, where president Jose Sulaiman wants to ban fighters’ fathers from their corners.

Little Mac in the corner
(Brothers, on the other hand, are still allowed.)

The reason for something as extreme as that is a study conducted by the WBC that found that in most instances of a fighter dying in the ring, the fighter had his father in his corner - meaning that the facts suggest that the fathers didn’t have the independent judgment in those instances to call off the fight before the fighter was in mortal danger. Also a common theme was being repeatedly punched in the face and head by someone whose job it is to punch someone in the face and head, but that didn’t seem to be addressed.


Dr. Paul Wallace, chairman of the WBC’s medical advisory board, said that a study in California backed up the WBC’s stance.

“The most common factor out of all the fatalities that had happened, was having fathers in the corner,” he said of the study. “Now, that’s not something that’s a medical issue, but it’s something that’s clearly an association.”

Art Pelullo, president of Banner Promotions, said the emotional link between father and son should preclude them working so closely together during a fight.

“A father is not detached enough to make the right decision, because he’s looking at what he loves and maybe not seeing what’s really going on,” Pelullo said.

WBC governor Rex Walker said there was the added danger to fathers living out their own dreams through their sons’ fists.

“Too many fathers live through their kid in the ring,” Walker said. “They transform from the corner to the kid, and they want to stay in the fight — but they’re not the ones getting hit.”

Sulaiman also noted one curious detail: that such a ban was already in place, but it just wasn’t being enforced.

It certainly makes sense, and it’s  too bad that it took this long and this many dead fighters to really put the rule in stone. Like, we understand why the dad would want to be right there for his kid and vice versa, but when there’s a demonstrable link between that and the worst thing in the world happening, well…

And besides, they can just do what Andre Berto does, and have his father close by at the fights, just not at ringside. Seems fair enough. Also, you should do anything Andre Berto tells you to do, because he is one of the most frightening people alive.