Southpaws with CTE

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by NoNeck, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    Adonis suffered a major TBI and has apparently recovered from it, but are there any southpaws who developed CTE?
     
  2. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft 'Snarky Little Gobshite' - IntentionalButt Full Member

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  3. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    Here’s your cookie.
     
  4. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    Language centers are usually on the left side of the brain…and southpaws usually don’t get hit on the left side of the head.
     
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  5. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    I'm bumping this because it's an interesting idea that deserves to be explored.

    The initial limitations I see coming up are:

    1) I'm not sure whether brain damage from concussive punches is localized in this way. The brain rattling might affect the brain as a whole (unlike, say, Phineas Gage's targeted railway spike).

    2) Anecdotal evidence might not get you very far, because I doubt many people even bother keeping track of the medical histories of thousands of southpaws who've retired over the years.

    ...That said, you might want to approach a sports medicine student or academic with this question. PubMed shows a lot of interest in concussion research compared to most other aspects of boxing.

    I'm not a doctor or sports science person myself, and I don't even play one on TV. So don't take my word for any of this. But try emailing an academic or two in this area and see what they say; professors are surprisingly communicative as a group.
     
  6. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Oh, and if you do get an answer, consider enlightening the rest of us.

    Maybe we'll get a bunch of posters who want to keep their peak trolling skills into old age switching to southpaw. :D
     
  7. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    A lot of boxers who get cast as having CTE are the ones with language centers affected (like James Toney) who aren’t otherwise that bad. Then there are guys like Benitez who are completely impaired and guys like Roach who get Parkinson’s (from blows to the back of the head) but are otherwise fine. And CTE is formally diagnosed postmortem so it will be way underestimated in boxers.

    I can’t think of a single one is a southpaw. I feel like “common sense” that southpaws are equally prone to CTE might not be the truth.
     
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  8. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    That might be true. As I said, it might be worth tossing it out to some professors as a research project and seeing if anyone bites. (Or doing it yourself if you're able.)

    One thing that occurs to me in your examples is that there just aren't many southpaws *period* compared to orthodox boxers. So the odds of a notoriously brain injured southpaw becoming famous are lower than an orthodox guy.

    Another thought: Southpaws might not be getting hit in the language centers, but they're getting hit *somewhere*. What part of the brain would you expect to get injured more often in southpaws? You could start looking for evidence of that as additional confirmation/disconfirmation of your localization theory.
     
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  9. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    One correction: apparently about half of left handed people have the language centers on the right side of the brain. I have no idea what percentage of southpaws are left handed.

    I’m not sure what functions are known for being lateralized on the right side of the brain. Language might be the cleanest example of a lateralized brain function other than left and ride sided motor functions.

    Your question about the incidence of southpaw boxers is what I’m interested in. Is it a myth that southpaws aren’t getting CTE at the same rate due to smaller numbers or is the rate actually lower?

    Zab is another one who got hurt but bounced back.
     
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  10. Dempsey1238

    Dempsey1238 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Southpaws or not(Or any combat or contact sport like American Football) You are always at risk for CTE.
     
  11. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Gerry Cooney was a left handed orthodox fighter, and his speech appears to have stayed pretty good, consistent with your theory (if his language center is on the "wrong" side.)

    But you'd really need a formal study if you wanted the question answered.
     
  12. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Bye for now! Full Member

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    The Galaxy brothers are fine. Moorer seems like he’s doing just fine mentally. Hagler was fine speech wise and as far as I can tell healthy before his sad passing. Gerry like you said is okay. Anyone know if Marvin Johnson is all good till he passed?

    Not all were natural lefties. But southpaws saving the left side of the brain is a good theory. It has me thinking of converting- I will have to do my own research.
     
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  13. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    I would say wait until you get something solid before converting (although I guess there are other, strategic reasons you might want to convert for the southpaw advantage.) Check PubMed; it has a lot of stuff for free. Then email some of the guys who did the most prominent studies and ask them what they think of the idea.

    Incidentally, there's a guy who developed the world's safest football helmet who could also probably answer this stuff. He shows up on a couple mainstream news articles. If you need me to track down the reference, I can probably do so. (I kind of wonder whether anybody thought of using one of the hyper engineered football helmets for 16 oz gloved sparring -- maximum padding.)
     
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  14. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    This does give me the amusing image of somebody converting to a horrible hybrid Ruiz/Hopkins/Byrd safety-first, grappling southpaw style to maximize longevity and prevent as much brain damage as possible. (Or, from another perspective, outsourcing the pain and anguish onto the viewers.)
     
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  15. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Bye for now! Full Member

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    That’d be a cool thing to read up on is it the space balls one? I’ll do some research and figure it out aha.