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Belfast official rejects boxing ban call following Mike Towell death in Scotland

By Nevin Farrell

Published 03/10/2016

Tragic boxer Mike Towell, who died on Friday night
Tragic boxer Mike Towell, who died on Friday night

A Belfast boxing official last night dismissed calls for a ban on the sport following the tragic death of a professional fighter in Glasgow.

Tom Dunn, secretary of the Shankill-based Cairn Lodge amateur boxing club, wished to pass on his condolences to the family of Mike Towell, but said boxing must go on.

Top names from the world of boxing in Ireland have also passed on their sympathy to the family of professional boxer Mike Towell (25), who died of brain injuries following a fight in Scotland on Thursday night.

World champion Carl Frampton posted on Twitter: "Very saddened to hear the terrible news about Mike Towell. Sympathies to his family."

Former world champ and boxing promoter Barry McGuigan said: "My deepest sympathies and prayers to the family of Dundee boxer Mike Towell RIP who passed away during the night. Very sad for all involved."

The death has led to renewed calls for a ban on boxing, or at least for blows to the head to be outlawed.

Labour MP Paul Flynn said: "We ought to change the rules in many sports and realise that the head is a very delicate part of the body."

But Mr Dunn said there are other sports more dangerous than boxing and there are no calls for them to be banned.

Mr Dunn said: "It is a very big tragedy, but take a look at rugby and some other sports, because there are more injuries and life-threatening injuries in rugby and no one is calling for rugby to be banned. If they ban head punches, they may as well ban boxing altogether, as head movement is all part of the game. That is one of the basics they are taught, head movement, to avoid the punches."

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