The issue of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in contact sports will be the story of this decade. Unfortunately, the research is a generation behind where it needs to be.?CTE?can only be?definitively diagnosed when you’re dead, and some question whether it is a real disease at all.
But something terribly happens to perhaps 20% of professional boxers, beginning ten to 20 years after they start fighting.
CTE has been shown to be caused by contact sports like Football, by combat sports like boxing, and by military hazards like IEDs. Some fighters, like Brian Stann, who played football, served his nation in combat, and fought in the?UFC, serve as role models, by retiring earlier than their performance would indicate is necessary.?Some fighters are inevitably going to hang on too long, and will end up punchy, a tragedy.
No MD can tell you?definitively what to do, except quit, so it is incumbent on fighters and trainers to be cautious. It is widely believed that a significant part of the brain trauma that occurs happens in training to fight.
“In the past I used to do too much sparring, and too much sparring against bigger heavier guys,” said Kampmann.?”There’s no need for me to be sparring big guys like Forrest, Vitor, Wanderlei.?Those are big guys that throwf—ing?heavy punches.
“You should be sparring guys your own size, and also a limit to sparring. There’s no need to spar two or three times a week. You can spar once a week, maximal I think.
“You can go light, do light sparring. But hard sparring, back in the day, people use to get knocked out in the gym. That’s not good. That takes a toll on you, getting knocked out.
“I’ve never been knocked out in the gym. I’ve been knocked down from body shots, but never had my bell rung in the gym. I’ve seen other people get knocked the f— out. That takes a toll on those guys.
“So I definitely think training smarter is the big way to go. “