Conor McGregor called his wobbly legs and dazed look “bolloxed”, but Referee Robert Boyd identified McGregor as unable to continue the fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. due to what may have been the signs of concussion. A veteran ringside physician, Darragh O’Carroll, MD, confirmed that the signs of concussion observed by the referee were consistent with concussion based on his years of experience in working with boxers.
Ray Ciancaglini, a retired boxer and good friend of NeuroNotes, founded an organization devoted to preventing the Second Impact Syndrome. Through his organization, Ray is a tireless spokesperson for injury prevention and awareness. He speaks with brain injury groups throughout the U.S. and professional, college and high school coaching staff to increase awareness and the need to respond rapidly to the signs of concussion to prevent an athlete from going back into the game or ring. McGregor could have used Ray Ciancaglini in his corner if he would have listened to him.
Coaches, trainers and referees need to be acutely aware of the signs of concussion and be prepared to pull the athlete out of the game, play or match. For many athletes, particularly in contact sports, they may had experienced other concussions some of which went unrecognized. When the signs of concussion are observed it’s time to call a stop. While McGregor felt he could continue, it is likely that this was the conditioned behavior of a fighter. The referee’s call was the right move.