Boxers suffering from dementia when they hang up the gloves is an even bigger problem than many first thought.
At it’s core the sport of boxing is about one man hurting another. Men have lost their lives in the ring.
We as fans are lured to the sport in the hope we will see a fighter overcome the pain and adversity to go on and triumph.
Almost all fans know of the sad stories in boxing such as those of Muhammad Ali or Gerald McClellan.
Both world champions, who while in the sport were cheered on by many for their fighting spirit but have suffered later in life due to the harsh reality of what boxing really is, a brutal sport.
Peter Flanagan is a fighter that most fans have never heard of or saw fight during his career. He is however every bit as much the embodiment of what and who a fighter is as an Ali or McClellan.
Flanagan was recently diagnosed with Dementia Pugilistica, a form of Dementia which is a neurodegenerative disease that affects as much as 20% of all fighters.
Peter had a career that consisted of 32 professional fights, 13-17-2, in which ended with a detached retina, an injury suffered in his final fight versus Mickey Bird, that required seven hours of surgery to repair.
Instead of feeling self pity, at the age 60 and his career long into his rear view mirror Peter once again is showing what a fighter he is.
The UK native has decided to step back in the squared circle of life one more time and face this disease head on.
Flanagan is now involved with raising awareness of the disease through his fundraising page for United Against Dementia.
While most fans of boxing have favorite’s with names like Mayweather, Hatton, or Pacquiao, it is the men like Peter Flanagan that are my heroes of not only the sport of boxing but in life as well.
Well done Mr. Flanagan, well done sir.