British MP calls for boxing ban after fighter Mike Towell’s death

GLASGOW, Scotland, Oct. 1 (UPI) — The death of a Scottish boxer following a fight has prompted one U.K. lawmaker to renew his call for boxing to be banned.

Labor MP Paul Flynn, who represents Glasgow, Scotland, where the fight happened, said the sport of boxing should be banned because it’s ultimate goal is to injure the opponent.

“The whole purpose of the sport is to render the opponent unconscious,” Flynn told The Guardian.

Boxer Mike Towell, 25, was knocked down twice in the first and fifth rounds before suffering a knockout blow later in the fifth round of a welterweight fight against Welsh boxer Dale Evans at the St. Andrews Sporting Club in Glasgow on Thursday. Towell was taken from the ring on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital. He died Friday night after swelling and bleeding on the brain.

Towell’s death was the second incident in seven months in Scotland, after fighter Nick Blackwell was forced to retire from the sport due to suffering a serious brain injury during a bout earlier this year.

Towell’s girlfriend, Chloe Ross, said Towell was complaining of headaches in the weeks leading up to the bout, but wrote them off to migraines related to the stress of training for the fight itself. Towell’s promoter said he had not been made aware of any headache complaints from the fighter leading up to the bout.

Prior to Thursday’s fight, Towell was undefeated, with a record of 10-0-1.

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