August 12, 2003

Great boxer, greater tragedy.: Wilfred Benitez, a world champion at 17 and participant in epic bouts with Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, now sits addled-brained and destitute in a Puerto Rican private hospital. Yet another sad victim of boxing (although, as the article points out, his dad shares some of the blame).

posted by bitstop to boxing at 01:51 PM - 1 comment

It is indeed tragic. I was once required to work with a former British heavweight champion, who happened to be a lovely fella but whose brain was so addled that if he went out to buy some milk in the morning he couldn't find his way home. Ask him a question and he would forget what it was before he answered, but he knew he was doing it. It turns out that after he was banned from boxing in Britain following a routine brain scan his family took him to America where he engaged in very frequent bouts of dubious legality. This is a former champ, but no one outside his family and some people who work in care agency type settings have any idea. I wonder how many damaged people there are, who we have never heard of. It is a brutal but fascinating sport.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:16 PM on August 12

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