Amateur boxing veterans said the sport is safer than people might think.
"Boxing is often viewed as an unsafe sport. Amateur boxing, with its equipment and safety rules, is one of the safest sports with the fewest amount of deaths or injury," said Melanie Ley, who works with USA Boxing. Ley launched a Web site, www.amateurboxing.com, that will include daily updates of the boxing matches at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Her Web site features the following facts about boxing safety:
- Boxers must wear a form-fitted mouthpiece, a foul-proof cup and a headguard.
- Medical examinations are required before and after all bouts.
- A physician is required at ringside during all contests.
- A boxer whose match was stopped because of head blows is restricted from sparring or competition for a specified period.