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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

No Holds Barred: Charles Farrell Reviews Klitschko-Chagaev Fight and Awful State of Heavyweight Boxing 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with our colleague and correspondent, Charles Farrell.

In a spirited and lengthy discussion, we review Wladimir Klitschko's predictable TKO victory over Ruslan Chagaev on Saturday, June 20, in Germany in a fight for several alphabet heavyweight belts. We critique this fight and the performance of both fighters, as well as the entire woeful heavyweight division.

We also discuss the disgraceful state of boxing journalism today, and why we do not take seriously what we read in The Ring magazine, including their recognition of Wladimir Klitschko as their "heavyweight champion of the world". And we lament the danger both to fighter safety and public health that this fight entailed, since Chagaev had tested positive for the hepatitis B antigen, and would not have been allowed to fight in many countries.

But we also explain why we do see hope for boxing in many other weight divisions, and especially outside the U.S.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here. You can also download No Holds Barred here. If one link does not work, please try another. The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

Make sure to visit the official boxing forum for No Holds Barred, the MySpace Boxing Forum.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Gladiator Magazine, for in-depth coverage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and MMA, as well as lifestyle articles on surfing, cars, movies, and more. Gladiator Magazine is available at any major bookstore and online at BJJMart.com or Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Wrestling 411, providing coverage of the sport of wrestling on TV, the Internet, and radio. Wrestling 411 is produced by Media Sports Productions, whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling.

FightBeat.com, for news, results, interviews, and free exclusive videos from the worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians Statement: Postpone Klitschko-Chagaev Fight "Due to Medical Safety Issues" 

It may seem incredible that they even have to do this, but the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians (AAPRP) issued a statement Thursday, June 18, calling for the June 20 heavyweight title boxing match between Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev to be postponed "due to medical safety issues".

The reason is clear and simple, as the May 30 WBA title fight between Ruslan Chagaev and Nikolai Valuev was cancelled because Chagaev had tested positive for the hepatitis B antigen. That fight was scheduled to take place in Helsinki, Finland, and most places around the world which host major boxing events do not permit fighters with this dangerous and infectious disease to compete.

The Klitschko-Chagaev fight, however, is scheduled to take place in Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, and the authorities in charge of this fight have far less comprehensive medical requirements for fighters than those in North America, the UK, and much of the rest of the world do.

The AAPRP statement refutes what they say has been some of the misinformation widely circulated in the media about the dangers of hepatitis B, and what is being proposed for the safety measures for this fight.

While this fight is being held in Germany, boxing is an international sport, and the fight will be telecast in the US on ESPN Classic. It is also for a series of heavyweight belts, including that of the American-based The Ring magazine, whose parent company, Sports and Entertainment Publications, LLC, is a subsidiary of Golden Boy Enterprises, whose president is the famed boxer and now promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. So there is much interest in this fight in America, and especially in an organization like AAPRP.

We also discussed this issue at length on my podcast, No Holds Barred, with Dr. Joseph Estwanik, who serves on the AAPRP Board of Directors. You can play or download that edition of No Holds Barred here. You can also download that edition of No Holds Barred here.

The AAPRP web site is at http://aaprp.org. Here is the full text of their statement:

As it has been reported that Mr. Ruslan Chagaev has tested positive for the Hepatitis B Virus, the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians (the “AAPRP”) is recommending that the proposed contest between Mr. Ruslan Chagaev and Mr. Vladimir Klitschko be postponed due to medical safety issues. The AAPRP also recommends that this fight not take place and suggests that Mr. Chagaev not be permitted to fight (anyone) until, and unless, he can demonstrate a "negative hepatitis status.

In several recent media accounts, it has been stated that Mr. Chagaev has a “low hepatitis B viral load” and therefore poses “no risk” of transmitting this dangerous virus. The AAPRP disagrees with this assertion. Although the risk of transmission of the Hepatitis B Virus may be minimal, the risk is not zero. Additionally, given the fact that Hepatitis B is a very virulent virus and easily transmitted, it is even more important to be prudent in order to not only protect Mr. Chagaev’s opponent, but also the referee, judges, sanctioning body officials, cornermen, ringside physicians and ringside observers who may be at risk of contracting this dangerous virus. As boxing is obviously considered a “blood sport”, it is very common for blood to splatter on the individuals immediately adjacent at ringside. The conjunctiva (eye) route of transfer for this virus is well documented....so any person seated at ringside, who is not immunized, may be at risk.

Furthermore, statistics suggest that if Mr. Chagaev were to share needles with another individual, the transmission rate of Hepatitis B could be as high as 30%. If blood from a cut on Mr. Chagaev were to come into direct contact with a cut on another fighter, the transmission rate could be as high as 10%. Should blood squirt from Mr. Chagaev and hit another individual in the eye (i.e. Judge, referee, cornerman or media) the transmission rate could be as high as 5%. Therefore, the risk is obviously greater than zero and could put others at ringside (beside his opponent) at risk for acquiring this virus.

Unless everyone at ringside (Judges, referees, ringside physicians, commission members, sanctioning body officials, trainers, cornermen, media reporters, ring girls, television technicians, spectators and of course the fighters opponent) has documented immunity to Hepatitis B (a three shot hepatitis immunity vaccination series given over a 6 month period with a subsequent documented blood test confirming immunity), protection against exposure to this dangerous virus cannot be guaranteed. Finally, if bleeding does occur, the individuals responsible for cleaning the ring as well as those handling the gloves must also be immune to minimize the risk as well.

The American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians considers safety our number one priority and will work with local and international commissions to insure that all precautions are taken to protect all individuals involved in professional boxing.

For more information, please contact the AAPRP.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No Holds Barred: Wladimir Klitschko-Ruslan Chagaev Hepatitis B Controversy, with Dr. Joseph Estwanik 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with noted ringside physician Dr. Joseph Estwanik about the controversy involving the June 20 fight in Germany between Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev for several heavyweight boxing belts.

Chagaev had been scheduled to face Nikolai Valuev May 30 in Finland, but that fight was cancelled after a prefight blood test found Chagaev to be positive with the hepatitis B antigen. The next week, when David Haye pulled out of a scheduled June 20 fight with Wladimir Klitschko because of a training injury, Chagaev was chosen to replace Haye as Klitschko's opponent.

Yet, according to the standards of the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians, on whose Board of Directors Dr. Joseph Estwanik serves, "If a fighter is Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Positive (reactive), they have Hepatitis B and cannot fight as they are infectious." Nonetheless, the Klitschko-Chagaev fight is being permitted to proceed in Germany.

In our commentary on this fight, we discuss why it is yet another disgrace for boxing. We detail how and why most of the boxing media are once again failing to expose this disgrace and are actually trying to benefit from this fight, including The Ring, which has announced that they will recognize the Klitschko-Chagaev winner as their "heavyweight champion of the world". And we stress the need to support the independent boxing media.

In our lengthy discussion with Dr. Joseph Estwanik, the issues of what is hepatitis B and why fighters who have it should not be allowed to fight are examined in depth. This is the type of candid and thorough discussion with a leading and veteran ringside physician which you will not be able to find in almost all the other media covering boxing, but it is our pleasure and privilege to be able to present it to you right here on No Holds Barred.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here. You can also download No Holds Barred here. If one link does not work, please try another. The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

Make sure to visit the official boxing forum for No Holds Barred, the MySpace Boxing Forum.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Gladiator Magazine, for in-depth coverage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and MMA, as well as lifestyle articles on surfing, cars, movies, and more. Gladiator Magazine is available at any major bookstore and online at BJJMart.com or Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Wrestling 411, providing coverage of the sport of wrestling on TV, the Internet, and radio. Wrestling 411 is produced by Media Sports Productions, whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling.

FightBeat.com, for news, results, interviews, and free exclusive videos from the worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

No Holds Barred: Renzo Gracie, Chris Weidman, and Luca Atalla on ADCC East Coast Trials 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman begins by commenting on some recent issues in mixed martial arts. We applaud the wise contract negotiations by Mirko Cro Cop with the UFC and Dream, and condemn the absurd fight between former top heavyweight boxer Ray Mercer and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, won by Mercer with a one-punch knockout.

This past Saturday, June 13, the ADCC East Coast Trials were held at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. The winners of the five weight classes contested all earned berths in the 2009 ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship, which will be held September 26-27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Right after his match, we had a chance to speak with Chris Weidman of Serra Jiu-Jitsu, who defeated James Brasco (Pablo Popovitch) by anaconda choke in the middleweight finals. We spoke about this match, what it means for his career, his wrestling background, and his plans in both grappling and mixed martial arts.

At this event was the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, grappling, and mixed martial arts legend Renzo Gracie. As always, Renzo had some very poignant comments about the importance of what we had just witnessed.

We also spoke with our old colleague Luca Atalla of Gracie Magazine. Luca has covered all the ADCC world championships, so his comments about these East Coast Trials were particularly insightful.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here. You can also download No Holds Barred here. If one link does not work, please try another. The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

Make sure to visit the official boxing forum for No Holds Barred, the MySpace Boxing Forum.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Gladiator Magazine, for in-depth coverage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and MMA, as well as lifestyle articles on surfing, cars, movies, and more. Gladiator Magazine is available at any major bookstore and online at BJJMart.com or Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Wrestling 411, providing coverage of the sport of wrestling on TV, the Internet, and radio. Wrestling 411 is produced by Media Sports Productions, whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling.

FightBeat.com, for news, results, interviews, and free exclusive videos from the worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts.

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