I think Pete Rozelle should be as concerned about steroid users as he is about cocaine users. If they can't play without steroids, I wish they wouldn't play at all.
JANET R. HERRMANN
PROTECTING BOXERS (CONT.)
This is in response to your special report on boxing in the April 11 issue. I'm against the sport, but in view of the fact that it will continue, here's a suggestion to lessen its brutality. Legally, the fist of a boxer is considered a lethal weapon. The cestus, the thong hand covering—often loaded with lead or iron—used in ancient Roman times, certainly was. Boxers today tape their fists to protect their hands and use gloves to cushion the impact of their blows on their opponents. But despite this, repeated blows to the head cause concussions and sometimes cerebral hemorrhages and death.
Fighters and trainers who tamper with the horsehair padding in their gloves to reduce the cushioning effect are subject to disqualification and banning. However, after repeated impacts in a number of rounds the horsehair has been known to break away in the knuckle area, thus nullifying the desired cushioning effect. Therefore, I propose:
1) that a complement of gloves be available for each bout under the care and charge of the referee or an assistant;
2) that gloves be put on in the ring under the supervision of the referee;
3) that at the conclusion of Round 3 (or 4), an extra minute be added to the rest period so that a set of new gloves can be laced on the fists of each fighter; and
4) that this procedure be repeated at the conclusion of each three (or four) rounds of a fight.
I believe this will reduce some of the injuries to the contestants, especially facial cuts.
NATHAN GEORGE HORWITT