Rapira unfazed by injuries to fellow professional

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2013

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Sam Rapira remains confident his sport has the correct procedures in place to deal with major injuries after fellow pro boxer Daniel MacKinnon needed emergency surgery after collapsing on Saturday night.

McKinnon was taken to Waikato Hospital suffering bleeding on the brain following his brutal 10th round stoppage by Robbie Berridge during the fight night in Hamilton.

The aftermath of the fight was a harrowing reminder of the dangers associated with boxing, although Rapira has not been put off.

"While it's really, really unfortunate and I was as shocked as anyone, because it's never happened to anyone I know, it's just what can happen in professional sport," he said.

"Any contact sport can be dangerous and these things can happen. I've got no qualms about carrying on boxing."

Although there were initial fears for MacKinnon's life, he made remarkable progress once he was brought out of a coma and was talking less than a day after surgery.

Given the relatively low numbers of professional boxers in New Zealand, Rapira said they were a tight-knit group.

"I'm really sad for Daniel and wish him all the best for his recovery."

Rapira was also confident pre-match medical examinations, coupled with regular checks when boxers' licences were renewed would identify potential problems.

From his own experiences and what he had witnessed, he also believed referees were acting sensibly, stopping bouts when it was clear fighters were in real trouble.

"The right procedures are done after the fight with all the check-ups that are done. I've never had any issues and I really do think this was one of those unfortunate things that just happens."

Meanwhile, Rapira could be in a position to announce his immediate plans by the end of the week after his one-sided first round stoppage of Fijian Isaia Maku on Saturday.

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