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Last month, boxers Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez have announced that they will take their talents to the ring at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV on November 21st. Cotto will defend his middle weight world championship against a very eager and prominent Alvarez. These two fighters will be representing their respected countries (Cotto, Puerto Rico and Alvarez, Mexico) in this intense country rivalry match up.
Boxing legend and promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, is calling it the ‘Biggest Fight’ in boxing. Although anticipated to be an electric fight, could De La Hoya be taking a jab at the supposed “Biggest Fight of The Century” featuring Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao? The May 2nd showdown was all but a let down in Mayweather’s unanimous victory over the Filipino boxer, disappoints many how the fight progressed.
What exactly determines a “good fight” in boxing? Is it a strong defense like Floyd, or maybe powerful punches like Gennady Golovkin? Or maybe you simply don’t justify a good fight without a knockout. No decision by a judge needed, just precision and accuracy to land that final hit. What exactly causes a knockout and why does the body respond like it does?
The final knockout punch isn’t necessarily the punch that ends it all. Over the course of a boxing match each boxer (possibly one sided) throws quick punches that cause mini concussions. Depending on the amount and power behind each punch, the opponent faded closer and closer into a state of unconsciousness until their body can physically endure no more.
“The body contains dissolved sodium, potassium and calcium, collectively known as electrolytes, which are responsible for conducting impulses along neurons,” (1). During the 12 round matches, with each punch that lands the fighters nerves take a hit causing potassium to leave the cell allowing calcium to rush in. This effect destabilizes any electrolyte balance your body still has and the brain is triggered to continue to try to keep those levels in balance. So yes, a boxer can continue taking hit after hit, but to maintain that balance takes a ton of energy, exhausting the body. As you can guess, once the sustained punches cause enough damage to outweigh the boxer’s body to maintain those levels and repair itself, the brain shuts down and the knockout occurs. The brain shutting down is actually a good thing though. It only shuts down so it can have enough energy later to repair the injured neurons.
No matter what round, it’s quite obvious to tell when a boxer is near the end. Basic functional movements become more difficult and their reaction time is slowed. Any coordination that once was, diminishes, beginning with foot movements. Boxers become flatfooted and can’t adjust forward or back and eventually that same lack of coordination in the feet rises to their upper body resulting in a lack of being able to defend themselves and well, the rest is lights out!
Reference

  1. Vera, Marita. “The Science of a Boxing Knockout”. Popular Mechanics. 22 July 2010. Web. 5 October 2015.