Br J Sports Med 36:346-352 doi:10.1136/bjsm.36.5.346
  • Original article

Problems in health management of professional boxers in Japan

  1. G Ohhashi1,
  2. S Tani1,
  3. S Murakami1,
  4. M Kamio1,
  5. T Abe1,
  6. J Ohtuki2
  1. 1Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, Jikei University, Japan
  2. 2Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, Nihon University, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Ohhashi, Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, Jikei University, 3-25-8 Nishi-shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan;
  • Accepted 25 February 2002


Objective: To investigate whether the incidence of boxing accidents is higher in Japan than in other countries.

Method: A nationwide survey of boxers was conducted.

Results: A total of 632 boxers responded. Most Japanese boxers were relatively mature when they started boxing (mean starting age of 19.2 years). A high percentage of boxers was found three weight divisions higher than previously reported. Many boxers stated that losing weight was not a big problem. It was found that a punch that turns the head can cause serious physical damage, and it was clarified that only a simple punch, rather than accumulated damage from multiple punches, can cause cerebral concussion. Severe shock causing retrograde amnesia is very rare after a fight and disappears relatively quickly. Many additional symptoms are related to damage to the hearing organs, such as hearing difficulties, tinnitus, and vertigo, but these symptoms also resolve quickly. Many boxers experience memory disturbance, not just after a fight but in daily life.

Conclusion: The approach to boxing has become more oriented towards the method of practice and scientific training, rather than psychological factors, which used to be emphasised.