Don King, on Mike Tyson

"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter?
He went to prison, not to Princeton."

"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music
and the dancers hit each other."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Obama concerned about brain injuries in football

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President Obama has weighed in on the subject of brain injuries in football, saying that as a parent, he’s not sure he’d allow a son to play.

“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” Obama said in an interview with the New Republic. 

“And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.  

In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”

The NFL has taken most of the public criticism for head injuries, but Obama said his greater concern is for amateur players who aren’t getting paid and may not have as full an appreciation of the risks.

“I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies,” Obama said.

 “You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about.”

The NFL has stayed a step ahead of the NCAA, both in enforcing rules designed to limit hits to the head and in treating players who suffer concussions.

But fans of football at every level should be prepared for more political pressure on the sport to dramatically reduce hits to the head.

Obama concerned about brain injuries in football | ProFootballTalk

 New Republic article:

IMDb: If you like Boxing Movies here you go !!! - a list by MoviesGalore44

 This list includes 190 films about Boxing

IMDb: If you like Boxing Movies here you go !!! - a list by MoviesGalore44

Phantom Punch (2008) - The life story of Sonny Liston,

Sonny Liston is fascinating to old fight fans like me.  How could such a frightening guy be beaten so easily by the young Cassius Clay?   He beat Floyd Patterson so easily and was widely feared by other boxers.  He was a role model to big George Foreman for crying out loud.  Mysterious loss of his title and equally mysterious death by drug overdose. It is unlikely the movie will answer any questions but this a reminder to myself to look for this flick on DVD.......


Phantom Punch (2008)

- Biography | Drama | Sport - 2009 (Canada)

Your rating:
Ratings: 5.3/10 from 322 users
Reviews: 7 user | 11 critic

The fascinating life story of Sonny Liston, the controversial heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

Director: Robert Townsend

Writer: Ryan Combs

Stars: Ving Rhames, Stacey Dash and Nicholas Turturro

Phantom Punch (2008) - IMDb

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Why Bodybuilding at Age 93 is a Great Idea: Charles Eugster at TEDxZurich - YouTube

Published on Nov 27, 2012

Of the recent changes that the human race has experienced, the increasing population numbers are especially dramatic and worrying coupled with the frightening great and continuous increase in obesity and the resultant diabetes pandemic. A particular amount of attention has been given to the rapid and continuing growth of longevity.
Yet our knowledge of the aging process is still very limited as what we observe is the result of a health-destroying lifestyle. Retirement creates invalids. Chronic disease is rampant in old age resulting in such enormous medical costs that should present trends continue, together with the diabetes pandemic, some countries could become bankrupt. Diabetes is already an international public health issue and inactivity is one of the biggest killers. The loss of wasted human potential and wealth is already immense.

Successful aging requires work, diet and exercise. The huge mental and physical potential of the aged remains unexplored. Bodies can now be rebuilt at any age and a new life started. Beauty kings and queens in the 80-year-old category or a beach body at the age of 94 are not impossible. We will all, regardless of age, have to take greater responsibility for our own health in order to confront the immense challenges confronting the human race.

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Why Bodybuilding at Age 93 is a Great Idea: Charles Eugster at TEDxZurich - YouTube

Monday, January 7, 2013


Concussions Part 1: Head Injuries and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Published on Apr 11, 2012


Concussion, from the Latin concutere ("to shake violently") or the Latin concussus ("action of striking together") is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. 

The play at all costs mentality in sports has created an epidemic of concussions that in some cases carries the ultimate price. In this episode of the Massachusetts School of Law's Educational Forum professor Holly Vietzke talks with The Sports legacy Institute's Co-Founders Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu as well as former professional athletes and spouses about their deeply personal experiences with brain injury and the evolution of treatment and awareness.
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Part 2: Equipment Safety, Concussions in Youth, & Reducing Second Impact Syndrome

Published on Apr 22, 2012


Concussion, from the Latin concutere ("to shake violently") or the Latin concussus ("action of striking together") is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. 

The play at all costs mentality in sports has created an epidemic of concussions that in some cases carries the ultimate price. In this episode of the Massachusetts School of Law's Educational Forum professor Holly Vietzke talks with The Sports legacy Institute's Co-Founders Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu as well as other doctors, former professional athletes, and their spouses about equipment safety, concussions in youth, and Second Impact Syndrome.
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Concussions Part 2: Equipment Safety, Concussions in Youth, & Reducing Second Impact Syndrome - YouTube

Parkinson's: Michael Jay Fox felt a tremor in his baby finger

The first sign of Fox's disease was small... he hid it for awhile.

If Manny has a neurologist seeing a tremor in one of his hands, he had better take note...

NCAA Plays Risky Head Game in Notre Dame-Alabama Showdown - Bloomberg

 By all means, enjoy the upcoming showdown between the University of Alabama and the undefeated University of Notre Dame for the college football national championship. In many ways the sport has never been more fun to watch.
As you do, however, say a prayer for the athletes on the field who may be risking brain injuries -- many of which could be prevented.

For years, a steady drip of studies has shown that concussions are alarmingly common in football, and that players who experience them are much more likely to suffer depression, memory loss, headaches and other maladies.

Recently, it has become clear that concussions are only part of the story.

A government study released in September found that retired football players were four times as likely to have died of Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease as the general population.  

Research published last month in the journal Brain found that a staggeringly high percentage of subjects with a history of repeated mild head injuries showed signs of a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. 

Almost all the subjects in that study were athletes, and most were football players.

Significantly, offensive linemen and running backs, positions in which contact is made on almost every play, were the most likely to have the disease.

This suggested -- although did not prove -- that unremarkable but repetitive blows to the head may in the long run be as injurious to an athlete as the singular bone-jarring hits that get more attention.

Affecting Academics

Risks unique to college athletes, the vast majority of whom won’t go on to the pros, are also becoming clearer.

A study published in the journal Neurology in May tracked Division I athletes in both contact and noncontact sports over the course of a season.

Some were fitted with helmets that collected data about head impacts, and all were given cognitive tests before and after the season.

A higher percentage of the players in contact sports scored worse than predicted on postseason tests.

Those who had been exposed to more hits to the head were even more likely to underperform. 

Let’s repeat that:

By playing a sport, some ostensible “student-athletes” were actually impeding their ability to learn. 

A clearer distillation of the hypocrisies at the heart of big-time college athletics could hardly be imagined.

So what can be done? 

For starters, the National Collegiate Athletic Association could take some tips from the pros.

The National Football League, under intense pressure from the players’ union, in 2011 limited the number of full-contact practices teams can undergo to an average of one a week over the season.

That could be a game-changer. Several experts have estimated that as many as 70 percent of head injuries occur during practice.

One study found that college football teams see an average of 300 hits of concussion-causing force during practice in a single season.

Experts writing in the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine recently concluded that “one way to quickly and drastically reduce a sport’s concussion risk would be to limit unnecessary contact in practice.” 

Furthermore, players sustain far more total hits over their careers in practice than in once-a-week games. 

If repeated mild blows to the head can indeed cause CTE, limiting practice hits could be the best way to prevent it short of fundamentally changing the sport. 

Along with the NFL, the Pop Warner youth football organization and the NCAA’s Ivy League conference have sharply reduced the contact allowed in practices.

The NCAA itself -- which still allows five full-contact practices a week -- needs to do the same.

Hit Counts

The NCAA should also consider how to better use advanced technology. 

Although helmets have proved to be distressingly ineffective in preventing concussions, expanded use of devices that track hits to the head could help.

Researchers at the Sports Legacy Institute advocate a “hit count” system, in which the number of such blows a player can take in a season is subject to a cap -- not unlike a pitch count in baseball.

This technology is expensive, and will be resisted by many coaches and players (and surely fans), but schools such as Virginia Tech are already experimenting with it.

Finally, a 2004 study found that almost 53 percent of concussions go unreported, either because the players don’t think their injuries are serious or because they want to stay in the game. 

Closer monitoring by coaches and medical staff, and a better awareness of the risks and symptoms of brain injury among players, should start to change that.

Will the quality of play decline if college athletes can’t practice as hard, or take as many hits in a season?

Undoubtedly; anyone who claims otherwise has never played or coached football.

Let’s be clear: Football is an inherently violent and injurious game, and no amount of rule changes or technology or education will alter that. 

But the NCAA -- whose unpaid student-athletes often rely on scholarships to afford their educations -- should remember that brain injuries are uniquely debilitating. 

Evidence suggests they’re getting more common as athletes grow bigger, faster and stronger. 

And there are clear steps schools can take to limit them.

To do anything less is to jeopardize the futures of already vulnerable young athletes.

Is that worth seeing a slightly better game each weekend?

To contact the Bloomberg View editorial board:

NCAA Plays Risky Head Game in Notre Dame-Alabama Showdown - Bloomberg

 Blogger note: 

Boxers who engage in gym wars end their careers early...for instance, the Kronk Gym was rumored to be a place where the fighters liked to prove their merit by engaging in very aggressive sparring.

On the other hand, Roberto Duran was noted for saving his ferocity for the 'real' fights.  He had a long and illustrious career because he took care of his health ... 

Why take punches in the gym where nobody pays you and tgheir is not a big audience to appreciate your mastery.  

The research into brain injury should be noted by boxers.  Take care to save your fury for the sanctioned and paying fights.

Don't risk cumulative brain injury warring in macho contests in the boxing gym.

Brain Injuries

January 04, 2013|
By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer

Douglas Smith , who heads Penn's Center for Brain Injury and Repair, has long studied…


Brain injuries still mysterious, but research is building

For a problem that has no doubt been around as long as humans have been falling on hard objects and bashing one another's skulls with clubs,
Brain injuries are still surprisingly mysterious.

Scientists, including a cadre at the University of Pennsylvania, are lifting the veil, though, and what they're seeing is already "dramatically" changing American sports, said Douglas Smith, who heads Penn's Center for Brain Injury and Repair.

Everyone from parents to pro athletes to military leaders is suddenly paying more attention to "mild" brain injuries, or concussions, and their long-term consequences.

Brain injury, Smith said, is the "signature wound" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That, coupled with a Philadelphia-based lawsuit by professional football players, who say the explosive hits they took on the job put them at risk for brain damage and dementia, has heightened interest in the damaged brain.

For a guy whose life's work had "no resonance" for decades, Smith says, this new popular fascination with brain injuries is "almost like winning the lottery."

There are still so many questions to answer. Scientists are only beginning to unravel why most who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries seem to recover just fine while some have lasting problems; why misshapen proteins associated with dementia develop in some brains after injury but not in others; or how those proteins affect thinking. They don't know how to fix the damage.

Smith said the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the name for what happens to the brains of athletes whose heads take a lot of battering, is "not even to the starting line."

All of this is giving Smith and the 25 senior investigators who work with him at Penn plenty to do. Penn uses a multidisciplinary approach that brings together Smith, a doctor who calls himself a neurotraumatologist, with a loose coalition of neurologists, neurosurgeons, bioengineers, neuroscientists, neuropathologists, physiatrists, psychiatrists, and emergency medicine doctors. Several have their own labs. Smith says he has tried, unsuccessfully, to figure out how much grant money they all have, but says they attract "multiple millions" from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, and foundations.

Smith likes to say their fields of study range from "molecules to man." For decades, the center has been known for its focus on "diffuse axonal injury," the stretching of fibers that connect nerve cells. Penn researchers are also working with Baylor University colleagues to develop biomarkers, the equivalent of a pregnancy test for the long-term brain damage in concussion. If doctors could predict which 15 percent of the 1.5 million concussions would cause long-lasting symptoms, they'd know which patients would make the best clinical trial participants. One researcher will soon test a drug in pigs as a precursor to treating children.

The center partners with a Scottish neuropathologist to study cellular changes in injured brains. And, Smith said, it's working on "living extension cords" to reconnect damaged nerves.

Ramona Hicks, a program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke who oversees research traumatic brain injury research, was reluctant to compare Penn's center with others. She did say that grants are based on rankings by other researchers and that the Penn center has been "very successful" at securing funding. "They're strong in lots of areas," she said.

Many disciplines

She added that Penn's work represents a "shining example of interdisciplinary approaches." It was in the forefront of studying neurodegeneration from brain injury, she said, and axonal injury is still under-studied elsewhere.

Smith, who at 53 still has thick brown hair and a retro mustache, was doing postdoctoral work in biochemistry when a friend suffered a brain injury while skiing. A CT scan revealed no problems, and the friend was expected to recover, but he was never the same. Smith switched careers and finished medical school in 1986, but didn't do the clinical training.

His colorful way with language is a plus for one who often must explain complex neuroscience to the public. It's not surprising that he plays a significant role in Head Games, a documentary about brain injuries in sports that was released last year.

In one of his favorite metaphors, Smith likens the brain to molded gelatin. Brain cells are injured as the gelatin sloshes against the hard skull and then rebounds. The axons, some of which are long enough to traverse the brain, are stretched or injured, disrupting the chemical and electrical signals they transmit. Injured axons can swell
so much that they disconnect. If the connection breaks, they cannot be repaired - yet.

Unlike, say, your dog, who has a smaller brain and a stronger neck, humans are at a disadvantage because of our "weak little necks and the way our heads can roll around like a lollipop," Smith said.

He liked football, but his high school was too small to field a team. He still managed to get at least one concussion in a pick-up game.

Asked how long players with concussions should wait before playing again, he takes an extreme view: "I say 50 years."

It is well-known, he said, that even a single concussion increases the odds of developing dementia later. Doctors have known since the 1920s that boxers were at risk for a condition then called "dementia pugilistica." It's no surprise, Smith said, "that other contact sports with other repeated head injuries would have the same problem."

Smith's group is studying genes that may make some people more susceptible than others to pathological brain changes. About one-third of people with moderate to severe brain injuries develop deposits of amyloid - a protein that clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease - almost immediately. The Penn team identified a gene that almost all of them have. Another gene that puts people at higher risk for Alzheimer's also increases the risk of these brain changes after injury.

Someday soon, genetic tests may raise a new question: Should some people avoid contact sports or the military?

The center is on the verge of getting a Department of Defense grant to study what happens to tau, the other hallmark Alzheimer's protein, after axonal injury. It has been found in an abnormal form in the brains of athletes who suffered multiple concussions.

It's a lot to think about, and Smith is glad the country is finally paying attention to injuries that can be devastating.

"It was like coming to work one day," he said, "and all of a sudden, the sky is blue and we have some sense . . . that we can begin to solve some of these problems."



Brain injuries still mysterious, but research is building -

Toronto Maple LeafsHockey Team trainer gives a few tips on exercise, nutritipon and rest

This is a Canadian source of information for news and financial planning and other things that require knowing Canadian rules and regulations.

 Published on Dec 31, 2012 - It's a healthy living hat-trick when a Maple Leafs trainer shares his expert tips on nutrition, exercise and rest with blogger Tamara McPherson.

Toronto Maple Leafs head strength and conditioning coach Anthony Belza knows fitness -- and he knows that living a healthy life is about more than just going to the gym. 

According to Belza, it takes a healthy living hat-trick of nutrition, exercise and rest to achieve real and lasting results. He shares his expert tips with Tamara McPherson, an Oakville, Ontario mother of four and blogger at

More tips on living a healthy life:
 Five ways to fit in fitness

Subscribe to our channel: Sharing ideas about money, health and family.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Manny Pacquiao Gets Parkinson's Warning from Expert Neurologist

Manny Pacquiao Gets Parkinson's Warning from Expert Neurologist

By (Featured Columnist) on January 4, 2013


ESPN reported Friday that the veteran boxer is at risk of suffering from early stages of Parkinson's disease.

According to, Pacquiao released a statement on Friday vehemently denying anything is wrong health-wise:
There is nothing to be worry about. I am 100% healthy and right now I'm enjoying a vacation with my family... I will return to the Philippines on January 14 and in early February I want to get to the gym because I want to have a fight in April and in September I want the fifth fight with Marquez.
Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, examined Pacquiao and offered his expert opinion:
Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement - it's just another view, my personal view - but it seems like there are early signs. There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It's in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven't seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.
The disease is something that has plagued boxers late into their career and continues to affect them throughout their lives. 

Former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali currently suffers from Parkinson's disease, as well as Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach.

His wife, Jinkee, was a major proponent of this mindset after seeing her husband hit the canvas face-first (via USA Today):
I want him to stop now. But he is the one who has the last say. Boxers risk their lives; (some) end up in wheelchairs.

With a medical professional now on her side, it might help sway the former champion to make a decision that would prevent further damage, i.e., RETIRE.


Blogger note:    It seems unlikely that the prospect of another massive payday will be ignored.  There is too much money to be made and too many self-interested people are going to convince Manny that he has another epic battle in him and the reward outweighs the risk of personal injury.  He will be praised and cajolled into protecting his place in the history of the sport of boxing, and so on ad nauseam.... ..............................................................................

Manny Pacquiao Gets Parkinson's Warning from Expert Neurologist | Bleacher Report

Manny Pacquiao given Parkinson's warning by Dr Rustico Jimenez | Boxing News |

Pacquiao given Parkinson's warning

ESPN staff
January 4, 2013  
Manny Pacquiao suffered a heavy knockout from Juan Manuel Marquez in his last outing © Getty Images
The possibility of retirement for Manny Pacquiao was raised on Thursday after

 neurologist Dr Rustico Jimenez speculated as to whether the Filipino was showing the first signs of Parkinson's. 

According to reports Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, said he was concerned about the health of the fighter, who suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez at the end of 2012. 

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which affects Pacquiao's world renowned coach Freddie Roach. 

Dr Jimenez is concerned he can see the first signs now creeping into the physiology of the 34-year-old welterweight. 

"Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement - it's just another view, my personal view - but it seems like there are early signs," Jimenez told radio dzMM.
"There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It's in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven't seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs." 

Jimenez later clarified that he had never treated Pacquiao, so his opinion was only a view from afar. Nevertheless, he still offered his best advice, which is to give up boxing for the good of his long-term health. 



Manny Pacquiao given Parkinson's warning by Dr Rustico Jimenez | Boxing News |

Floyd Mayweather Demonstrating Techniques - YouTube

Uploaded on Aug 3, 2009
Great video with Floyd Mayweather walking through some of the techniques he has mastered over his career.

Floyd Mayweather Demonstrating Techniques - YouTube

10 Floyd Mayweather Boxing Tricks - YouTube

10 of Floyd Mayweather's best boxing tricks, offensive and defensive boxing skills from his fight with Shane Mosley in May 2010.

For the full explanation to all the boxing skills used, read here:

Boxing Tricks in order:
1. High Elbow Block
2. Head Pull
3. Shoulder Roll
4. High Guard, Drop-Jab
5. Forearm Crush
6. Leaning Right aka "pull counter"
7. Opening Guard
8. Push Tactics
9. Head & Hooks
10. Slap Hook on the Inside aka "check hook"

I tried using basic english words that would help NON-boxers know what to look for. Not everyone is familiar with all technical boxing terms - myself included. Being a video-maker, I also have to be clever and use keywords people actually search.

If you guys enjoy this, watch the one I made for Manny Pacquiao:

No copyright intended. All content used in adherence to Fair Use copyright law.
Video is from HBO.
Song is Capone & Noreaga - Invincible. - for more FREE BOXING TIPS! - Learn HOW TO BOX in 10 Days - ADVANCED footwork & punching power techniques
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10 Floyd Mayweather Boxing Tricks - YouTube