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Should We Interview Fighters Who Just Got Knocked Out? A Defense For Juan Manuel Lopez And Victor Ortiz

A massive punch floors the fighter. The fighter cannot get back to his feet because he has issues with his balance. There are some processes that happen in the brain during a knockout/knockdown that we do not fully understand. Most researchers theorize that something akin to a concussion happens to cause the loss of balance seen during a knockout. If we assume that someone who gets knocked out suffers a mild concussion, which seems likely, then let's look at some of the symptoms of even a mild concussion.

According to each of the official guidelines for concussions, the lowest grade of concussion, Grade I, includes immediate confusion as a symptom. This grade of concussion will also include a period of post-traumatic amnesia that can last up to but not greater than 30 minutes. I would venture a guess and say that most fighters who get knocked out do not remember the post-fight interview. Grade II includes amnesia and clearly different than Grade I because the fighter will be knocked unconscious.

Yet, we still think and demand an immediate interview with the fighter who got knocked out. I forget where he said it, but Victor Ortiz does not even remember his fight with Marcos Maidana, a clear symptom of a concussion. Even though he had a brain injury, some still deride him for his comments made directly after the fight.

We did the same thing on Saturday when Juan Manuel Lopez got knocked out by Orlando Salido. JuanMa will even face some legal ramifications based on comments he made while in a questionable mental state and likely face sanctions from the WBO. Considering the fragile state of a knocked boxer's brain, should we be even interviewing the loser after he gets knocked out? I am not advocating that we stop all post fight interviews. It seems that the victor and decision losers could be interviewed, but we should wait at least 30 minutes, if not longer, to interview someone who got knocked out. Also they should have to pass a concussion test before they can give an interview. What do you guys think? Should we pass on the post-fight interview if the fighter has been knocked out?

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