In the commentary on the tragic 2005 Leavander Johnson/Jesus Chavez fight, which claimed the life of Leavander Johnson, commentator Jim Lampley said that there are two things that seem to be "constant" in recent fights where a boxer was seriously - sometimes permanently - injured:
In the recent history of the sport, when you look at fights where one fighter has been badly, sometimes permanently damaged, two constants seem to be part of the formula. Number one, the opponent who is doing the damage is a hard hitter, but not a big enough hitter to put the opponent away. Number two, the guy who is getting worked over has his father in the corner as his trainer, constantly sending him back to take more punishment.
I'm sure Lampley would love to have been proven wrong in this case, but the words he spoke in the 11th round, shortly before referee Tony Weeks belatedly stopped the fight, were eerily prophetic, and less than a week later, Johnson was dead.
A little research on my part turned up an earlier article from the LA Times, which listed other fighters who were killed in their bouts and had their fathers in their corners:
Johnny Owens (1980)
Kiko Bejines (1983)
Rico Velazquez (1988)
Jimmy Garcia (1995)
Fernie Morales (1991)1
More recently, in 2009, Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez was killed in the ring, with his father in the corner.
Here's a slightly more thorough list of boxers who were killed or seriously injured in the ring since 1980 with their fathers in their corners.
Has there ever been a serious analysis into the possible correlation between permanent injury/deaths in the ring, and having one's father in the corner? Do we know if there is actually a statistical correlation between these two factors?
1 Fortunately, Morales actually survived, but suffered a blood clot in his brain, had to have emergency brain surgery to remove it, and never fought again. Sadly, all the others on the list died from their injuries.