Boxing


Tommy "The Duke" Morrison Scheduled To Box In Australia This Year - But Not Before A Battery Of HIV Tests, Says Local Dr.

03.01.09 - by James Slater - Still one of the most recognisable names from the 1990's heavyweight division, Tommy Morrison - "The Duke" or "The Great White Hope" - depending on your preference of nickname, is scheduled, it has been reported, to fight again this year. Set to box in Melbourne, Australia, the former WBO heavyweight champion whose career famously came to an end in 1996 due to his allegedly contracting the decease HIV, is in line to face local heavyweight John Hopoate in the spring..

Tommy MorrisonI say allegedly contracted HIV, because Morrison, now aged 40, and 2-0(2) in his last couple of bouts, claims he was misdiagnosed and that he does not have HIV after all.. After having been permitted to box in West Virginia, US and in Mexico in 2007 and 2008 - attracting much media attention as he did so - Morrison now hopes to partake in a third comeback bout in the land down under. However, in an article that has appeared on The Age.com, top Australian doctor Lou Lewis says only after an intense battery of tests will Morrison be allowed to fight Hopoate or any other fighter.

"Absolutely," the doctor said when asked if Morrison would be subjected to testing. "He'd be tested for HIV one and two; Hepatitis B and C. If he has it [HIV] you'd want to protect his opponent. Assuming he did have HIV I would be concerned even sitting ringside. If he had HIV and was cut you would be worried about his blood going into your eyes. A boxer's artery can be severed during a fight and his blood spurts everywhere.

"Boxing is dangerous enough a sport without allowing a fighter in the ring with a serious contagious disease. You would not want to think a fighter would be placed at unnecessary risk through the transfer of blood."

Without a doubt, everything that doctor Lewis says is correct. But what about Morrison's insistence he is not carrying HIV? Lewis says it is possible Morrison may have been misdiagnosed, but that he would need the fighter to arrive in Australia weeks before the fight so as to have adequate time to check him out thoroughly.

"It is true that there have been cases of false positive tests before," Dr. Lewis said. "It is indeed possible Morrison received a false positive. Nevertheless, we'd want to test him, and we'd also want the time to test him thoroughly."

It would seem to the average guy on the street who isn't a medical expert that it should have been easy to have found out long before now if Morrison has HIV or not. If he hasn't then fine, but if he has, that means he fought twice while carrying the disease. It is clear the tests he will be undergoing in Australia will finally lay the matter to rest.

According to the article, there are three other heavyweights lined up to face Tommy should the Hopoate fight fall through. Solomon Haumono, Bob Mirovic and Nathan Briggs are the other local fighters that have been listed as possibilities.

Article posted on 03.01.2009



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