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Ray Edwards says boxing is safer than football

Edwards Getty Images

Former NFL defensive end turned boxer Ray Edwards believes his new sport makes him less exposed to physical harm.

Yes, Edwards believes boxing is safer than football.

“Football is the only sport that is 100-percent injury prone,” Edwards tells Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports.  “[In football], you don’t know what is coming, where you are going to get hit, how you are going to get hit.  You play for a long time, chances are you are going to tear your MCL or ACL. You can break your leg, snap your femur, break your arm, break your neck. . . .

“In boxing you know where the hits are coming from – it is the guy stood in front of you.  In boxing you might break your hand or break your nose and if you get knocked out you can get a concussion.  But also, the referee is right there and you are more protected.  In football, you never know.  The game moves at such a pace that you might never see it coming.  You can get hit when you are completely defenseless.”

Edwards makes a point that isn’t as implausible as it seems.  In boxing, the participant has greater control over his circumstances.  He’ll absorb only the damage he can’t prevent, and he has no concerns about being hit deliberately or accidentally when he’s neither looking nor prepared.

Still, the point of boxing is to inflict enough injury upon the opponent’s brain to render him incapable of continuing.

“There is some faulty thinking there,” Dr. Anthony Alessi, a veteran ringside doctor in Connecticut, told Rogers.  “In football, accidents and injuries are a byproduct of the game, but the main objective is to get the ball over the line and score points.

“In boxing, the object of the sport is to neurologically impair your opponent, to injure their brain in some way to stop them from performing.  It sounds graphic, but that is effectively what you are looking for – a knockout.”

Of course, no injury will be inflicted if the other boxer simply pretends to sustain a knockout, diving to the ground when Edwards places a punch in the vicinity of the fighter’s jaw.

If the NFL were to call Edwards, he’d drop boxing faster than a guy taking a dive, and Edwards would return to football despite the risks.  After all, with those risks comes a reward far greater than anything he’ll earn by beating on a smattering of cream puffs and tomato cans at county fairs and tractor pulls.

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30 Responses to “Ray Edwards says boxing is safer than football”
  1. shawon0meter says: May 15, 2013 10:34 PM

    When you fight bums significantly smaller than you, it is usually pretty safe.

  2. filthymcnasty1 says: May 15, 2013 10:35 PM

    Football is so incredibly dangerous that you might suffer an arm bruise and have to sit out a playoff game – like Christian Ponder.

  3. torontofalcon says: May 15, 2013 10:40 PM

    He’s just saying this cause he sucks at football, biggest waste of life

  4. realfootballfan says: May 15, 2013 10:41 PM

    He’s not lying…..Mike Tyson said the same thing the other day in an interview.

  5. spiderperv says: May 15, 2013 10:42 PM

    I think you actually have to fight to be in danger.

  6. jacobslatter says: May 15, 2013 10:45 PM

    The QB’s that Ray Edwards played against in 2011 & 2012 all felt 100% safe when he was running straight into the offensive tackles.

  7. herkulease says: May 15, 2013 10:46 PM

    Umm you don’t know need scramble the other boxers brain to get the knockout. They mere look more impressive.

    Plenty of fights have ended via body blows, especially liver strikes have taken down fighters.

    For example Bernard Hopkins KO Oscar De La Hoya via a shot to the liver. Oscar just keeled our. Youtube it.

  8. greg2geez says: May 15, 2013 10:54 PM

    More fights are decided by scoring than knockouts. The object is to land punches and score points. Neurological damage is all gravy.

  9. raiderapologist says: May 15, 2013 11:01 PM

    Boxing is brutal if you don’t fight duffers, which is what Edwards does. It’s not 11 guys looking to take a shot. It’s one guy punching you in the face until you quit.

  10. thegreatgabbert says: May 15, 2013 11:04 PM

    “The Thinker” is going to do a face palm at MOMA, if he sees that picture.

  11. tjacks7 says: May 15, 2013 11:14 PM

    No kidding, when you fight guys that couldn’t land a pinch if their life depended on it.

  12. murraysons says: May 15, 2013 11:20 PM

    Not to many tomato cans standing across the line from you, Ray. Unlike your recent opponents.

  13. theytukrjobs says: May 15, 2013 11:25 PM

    It doesn’t matter what the intent is or how you defend yourself. The proof is in the pudding. Are boxers more or less likely to have a poor quality of life later on than football players?

    Being fat and lazy still takes a greater toll on the body than any sport. What we have to remember in all of this is that professional football players have a longer life expectancy than “the rest of us”. While football does have its risks, being paid mass sums of money to work out and eat what professional nutritionists tell you to eat has its health advantages as well.

  14. icecubeusedtobeangry says: May 15, 2013 11:25 PM

    The Packers will lose twice a year for the next three years to the Vikings.

  15. tyler4richardson says: May 15, 2013 11:30 PM

    Drop Ray Edwards off in a gym where guys are training for legit fights and I guarantee he changes his tune awfully quick. It takes someone who actually trains for challenging fights to make that comment and not a guy who “beats up” significantly less athletic tomato cans. Titus Young will be honored in Canton before Ray Edwards will be respected by boxers.

  16. johnnytarr says: May 15, 2013 11:34 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    May 15, 2013 10:35 PM
    Football is so incredibly dangerous that you might suffer an arm bruise and have to sit out a playoff game – like Christian Ponder.
    ———————————————————-

    How bad does your life suck that the highlight of your day is making what you think is a clever remark? Stop sucking up the gov. money & get a job.

  17. inyofaceagain says: May 15, 2013 11:36 PM

    This comin from a guy who is a runway model in his spare time…

  18. micknangold says: May 15, 2013 11:50 PM

    A lot of punchy retired boxers disagree with this

  19. sickoe47 says: May 16, 2013 12:09 AM

    Yeah thats easy to say when no one has offered you a contract huh.

  20. bigbadal21 says: May 16, 2013 12:19 AM

    Many fights listed as ending by ko is not really a ko. When the ref stops the fight it listed as a ko. Very few fights actually end in a knockout. You can sit behind your keyboard and make cute comments about this guy not being able to play football or to fight professionally all you want. That is your right. But it would be ill advised to compare his accomplishments in the world of sports to your own.

  21. Max says: May 16, 2013 1:12 AM

    Obviously Ray isn’t fighting against the right opponents if he thinks boxing is safer…

    Fight TOP RANKED and then let us know what is safer!

  22. i10east says: May 16, 2013 2:10 AM

    Contrary to popular belief, MMA is more safer than boxing.

  23. buckybadger says: May 16, 2013 2:11 AM

    Boxing if my favorite sport and I used do a little myself and not it is not safer. In boxing the purpose to concuss your opponent. It is the most brutal sport that you can participate in. Every fighter has only so many fights and I would be willing to bet the % of football players that end their career slurring their speech is far less than boxing. I love the sport but even I sometimes wonder if it should be done.

  24. gvboot says: May 16, 2013 2:29 AM

    Ooh my God, thank you Ray. I promise, this is the hardest I’ve laughed in days.

  25. ultichiva says: May 16, 2013 2:30 AM

    He iS right!

  26. gvboot says: May 16, 2013 2:43 AM

    I have to plea ignorant, filthymcnasty I want to vote but I don’t know what you’re saying.

  27. ballreaper says: May 16, 2013 4:17 AM

    Yes ray!.. its much safer i would say if your opponent in the ring is with a 10 yr old GIRL. On the other hand it seems like you have already taken one too many to the HEAD.

  28. thegonz13 says: May 16, 2013 5:52 AM

    In what parallel universe is boxing safe or safer?

  29. realfootballfan says: May 16, 2013 10:53 AM

    Well, actual boxers that fought at the top level said so like Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier (RIP). In football, you will collide full speed with other human beings repeatedly week in week out, while in boxing you’re only punching another guy every time you have a fight. It’s no comparison what toll each takes on the body.

  30. thejimthorpejamsession says: May 16, 2013 12:35 PM

    If we’re talking about boxing of the sort that took place in the “Flop” video from his earlier bout, then Ray is right.

    When there’s no contact made whatsoever, there’s no question that football is less safe than that manner of “boxing.”

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