Boxing: Medical Care in and Out of the Ring

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2007 Oct;6(5):317-21. doi: 10.1007/s11932-007-0069-9.


Boxing may well be the oldest sport known to mankind and probably the most controversial. Injuries are common in boxing, occurring most often to the head, neck, face, and hands. Brain injury, both acute and chronic, is the major risk for potential catastrophe. Medical care for the boxer extends beyond the competition in the boxing ring; the ringside physician is responsible for protecting both boxers and must make quick decisions about their continued participation based upon a limited examination. A thorough knowledge of the rules and regulations of boxing is necessary for the ringside physician to effectively care for the athlete. In spite of the perceived brutality associated with the sport, most injuries are minor, although serious injuries and deaths do occur, most commonly due to brain injury. Given the potential for catastrophic injury, the ringside physician must be prepared and equipped to care for the boxer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Boxing / injuries*
  • Boxing / statistics & numerical data
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / therapy
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Eye Injuries / etiology
  • Eye Injuries / therapy
  • Facial Injuries / etiology
  • Facial Injuries / therapy
  • Hand Injuries / etiology
  • Hand Injuries / therapy
  • Head Injuries, Closed / etiology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / physiopathology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / therapy
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sports Medicine / methods
  • Treatment Outcome