Although Antonio Vargas still thinks about the cut that nearly ended his Olympic dream, his unprotected head will be clear when he steps into the ring in Rio de Janeiro. Vargas grew up sparring and competing in protective headgear, so he had never been cut in a fight before his face split open in that bloody loss at the U.S. Olympic team trials seven months ago. Cuts haven't been a major concern in Olympic boxing since 1980, but they will be a constant danger in Rio, where the 250 male fighters will box without headgear for the first time since Moscow.
An investigation launched by New York's inspector general after a pro fighter suffered nearly fatal injuries concluded the state boxing commission was plagued by deficient practices, limited oversight and conflicts of interest. Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said her office's probe into the New York State Athletic Commission was prompted by the severe brain injuries and poor post-fight treatment suffered by heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov in 2013 at Madison Square Garden. Investigators said the fighter walked outside afterward, vomited, then was taken by his handlers in a 15-minute taxi ride to Roosevelt Hospital, though there were ambulances available at the arena. He had emergency