What kind of rule changes do you actually think might come out of the Association of Boxing Commissions meeting in July? I'm hopeful for a brighter future after reading Marc Ratner's comments, but I found it surprising he didn't publicly mention asking the ABC for a five-minute recovery period for eye pokes. I like the idea of giving the doctor a look at a fighter who has been poked but why not also give them the same break as a low blow, too? Just doesn't seem like it goes far enough considering how often eye pokes happen and how many fighters seem to say they'd have fought on with just an extra minute or two. -- Mario from Tampa
TJ De Santis, Sherdog Radio Network program director: 1 completely agree with you, a rule needs to be put in to place for eye pokes immediately. However, I wouldn't hold your breath. Maybe I'm just jaded but I have little to no faith when it comes to regulators and change in this sport.
Politics are everywhere in life. Your work, your gym, your school, even your home life is not immune to political jockeying to push personal agendas. Everybody has different priorities and the bureaucratic process tends to slow the system down.
I wish this was just as simple as Marc Ratner speaking to the Association of Boxing Commissions, making a presentation and then having them alter the Unified Rules. However, it won't be that easy. Ratner would have to convince the ABC that his ideas about allowing ringside doctors to examine eye poke victims and the three-point rule, then the individual commissions would all have to go back to their states, provinces and territories and independently approve the rule changes. More often than not whatever was being debated just gets thrown by the wayside and ultimately forgotten about. Remember John McCarthy's new weight classes from a few years ago?
Now, I don't want to sound too negative. I am somewhat optimistic that something gets done. If there was ever a time for the eye poke issue to be addressed and fixed it is now. We all know that fighters don't deserve to lose the way that Gian Villante lost at UFC 159. Joe Rogan bitching about MMA gloves following an eye poke is now so common that I think it's been taken off nearly everyone's UFC drinking game list. Even regulators can't deny that this is a problem in the sport but that doesn't mean the road to smarter rules won't get held up with red tape.
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