A SELL-OUT boxing bout between a 56 and 58-year-old has been branded “insane and dangerous”.
The amateur, unsanctioned fight – which will be staged at a packed Bonnyrigg club tomorrow night – has been KO-ed by boxing authorities who say the men’s ages makes it too dangerous for them to box in front of a paying crowd.
But the criticism has sparked a flurry of punches from organisers – who claim both men will be up to the rigours of the ring despite both of them having undertaken “not much training”.
Alex Kay, 56, will take on 58-year-old Dennis Quinn at Bonnyrigg Sports Bar. They are on the same card as their sons, James Kay and Brian Quinn, both 36, making the “Boomtown Christmas Banger”, as it is being billed, a father-and-son affair.
James, who is organising the event, said his battling dad, and Mr Quinn, would both have to pass a medical before the fight, consisting of three 45-second rounds.
He claims his event is insured and said safeguards are in place to protect both fighters, said to be keen boxers in their youths.
“They will fight with head guards and 16oz boxing gloves, which are the biggest size, because they are quite old,” he explained. “They’ve not done much training, but they’ll have to pass a medical from a doctor. We sold out the 120 tickets in a day and it’s all for a laugh.”
But Boxing Scotland, the sport’s governing body, said it would never sanction a bout between competitors over 40 as “health and safety has to come first”. Chairman Richard Thomas said unsanctioned events are a real headache for those in charge of the sport and its image.
He explained: “Boxing can be a dangerous sport. If it’s done without proper sanitary measures, good governance and strong organisational support, which comes through Boxing Scotland or the British Boxing Board of Control, then these participants have to be very mindful of that.
“Our cut-off point is 40 years old, which is the international standard. Can many people in their 50s say that they can run a five-minute mile and it has no physical impact on them? Cardiovascular output goes through the roof in boxing and it’s in front of a crowd. Boxing is an inclusive sport, but health and safety has to come first.”
Former boxing champ Bradley Welsh, who promoted an Edinburgh versus Glasgow event at the Usher Hall in September, branded the match-up “dangerous”. He said: “Two men boxing at that age is insane and dangerous. These kind of events have the potential to badly damage the sport.
“There is a growing problem in Scotland with unsanctioned boxing events. Councils are letting people punch each other in the head without even checking there’s safety measures in place.
“At the Usher Hall, it took months to get insurance and jump through hoops with the council to get licensed. Councils need to get a grip of unsanctioned events because there could end up being a fatality. ”
A number of unsanctioned boxing contests have been held in city nightclubs and hotels recently. Many venues are able to host the sport under their public entertainment licenses.
The Christmas Banger event features the Sky Sports logo on its flyer – but it is not believed to be backed by the broadcaster. The event does, however, have a drugs sniffer dog on the door.