WBC wants corner rule enforced

Updated: November 4, 2009, 11:45 AM ET
Reuters

JEJU, South Korea -- The World Boxing Council wants to banish once and for all fathers from working their sons' corners during fights after a study showed it could prove fatal.

Speaking at the WBC's annual convention, council president Jose Sulaiman said the organization already had a rule banning fathers from their sons' corners but that it was being flouted.

The WBC must strictly enforce this law to prevent errors in judgment that could lead to tragedy in the ring, Sulaiman added.

Dr. Paul Wallace, chairman of the WBC's medical advisory board, said that a study in California backed up the WBC's stance.

"The most common factor out of all the fatalities that had happened, was having fathers in the corner," he said of the study. "Now, that's not something that's a medical issue, but it's something that's clearly an association."

Art Pelullo, president of Banner Promotions, said the emotional link between father and son should preclude them working so closely together during a fight.

"A father is not detached enough to make the right decision, because he's looking at what he loves and maybe not seeing what's really going on," Pelullo said.

WBC governor Rex Walker said there was the added danger to fathers living out their own dreams through their sons' fists.

"Too many fathers live through their kid in the ring," Walker said. "They transform from the corner to the kid, and they want to stay in the fight -- but they're not the ones getting hit."

WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto has his father close at hand during his fights, but not in his corner.

"Most of the breakups between a father and son happen in the corner because so many emotions are involved," Berto said. "The father tends to step out of his boundary, getting into 'father mode' instead of 'trainer mode.' You have to be able to separate that."