Again, And Again, And Again... Until...
It was January 3rd, 1998 at the Forum in Inglewood, California,
USA when a fighter named Redone Bougara (Right) fought on a
DRAKA (San Shou style) event. (IKF President Steve Fossum was the
MC/Ring Announcer of the event)
His opponent was Malik Berbashev of Russia. After 10
rounds of hard fighting the two warriors entered the 11th round. In the 21st
second of this round the referee stopped the fight when Redone made it
clear he could no longer defend himself when he turned his back on Malik.
Once the call was made, Redone showed obvious signs of disagreement,
shaking his head and dancing around the ring to show the world he was able to
continue despite his fatigue. After realizing the fight was over, he returned to
his corner in frustration. He then watched his opponent walk around the ring,
waving his countries flag in victory.
Redone hugged him in congratulations, posed for a
picture then went o his corner to gather his things. He and his trainers headed
to the locker room.
On the way to the locker room Redone complained of not
feeling well. Minutes later he was taken by ambulance to Daniel Freedman
Hospital in Inglewood, CA.
The doctors reported that there was bleeding on the front left
portion of his brain and that if they didn't operate he could die. The surgery
was nearly 4 hours long and the prognosis was grave. There was more damage than
originally thought and the hope for recovery was slim.
His family spent 6 days in the hospital waiting for the
inevitable until he past away.
To add to the sadness, on December 27th, 1997, just one week
before Redone's final fight he was married to his wife Lisa. (Pictured
with him at left).
Now for the even more sad news, that it should have never
During the investigation after his death it was discovered that
Redone and his trainer/manager had never revealed to the event
matchmakers or the California State Athletic Commission that he had been knocked
out only a few weeks prior to the January 3rd match-up.
Worse yet, he had actually been knocked out 2 other times, all
within a time frame of approximately 45 days, yet he never revealed these
results to anyone.
Also determined in the investigation was that there was
probably previous brain damage from one of these prior bouts. However without
time to heal, the damage along with the head blows in his final bout could of
all lead to his death. But again, he never told anyone, not even the California
State Athletic Commission.
One of those bouts was in California but was on an Indian
Reservation. The California State Athletic Commission has no jurisdiction on
Indian Reservations so they had no record of the bout.
Bougara, like any fighter was a True
The sad thing about him and many fighting warriors is that they
ignore pain and the issues of safety when a challenge comes his way.
ADDED - 2004
IKF Establishes a Medical Suspension List for
Unlike Boxing, Kickboxing has no regulated tracking system
where promoters can find out info about a fighter, such as a KO suspension.
For example pro boxing KO/TKO's can be found by checking FIGHT
FAX, INC. (856-638-0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org) which keeps a record of
every Pro Boxer in the
world recording all their pro bouts,
wins, losses and everything else. As of the Spring of 2004 the IKF and thew USKBA
are the only kickboxing sanctioning bodies who follow these suspensions rules
for both pros and amateurs kickboxers.
"The suspension rule is important for many reasons"
says IKF President Steve Fossum."The
obvious being for the fighters recovery time. A fighter may be hurt worse than
he thinks and the suspension gives them time to recover. Our philosophy is
Safety First, no matter if they are amateur or pro fighters!"
In some cases, a suspension can be lifted by a commission. Such
was the case on an IKF Sanctioned event in
Rockford, Illinois, USA in November 0f 2002. Amateur fighter Dan Erickson
(Right) was stopped in a bout in Ireland in late October. He was
scheduled to fight for the
IKF North American title against Mike
Marinoble, of Fair Oaks, CA on November 16th in South Carolina, USA. However
the stop made him ineligible for the bout giving Marinoble the win by forfeit.
After discussing the stoppage of the fight with those involved the IKF reduced the suspension to a 30 day suspension
instead of a 45 day suspension. This is usually done when the bout review shows
that the stop of the fight was not due to repeated knockdowns, blows or one
single severe blow. This allowed Erickson to fight in Rockford Illinois
on November 30th, which he did, winning by KO in the first round.
January 8th, 1998 4:00 PM
THE FACTS ABOUT
Redone Bougara'S Death
"FIGHTERS DON'T DIE IN THE RING"
Second Impact Syndrome
Malik Borbashev, 22-3-1, 15 KO's, of Kyrghyzstan won
by TKO over Redone Bougara, 28-6-1, 11 KO's, from France in round 11
when referee Cecil Peoples stepped in and stopped the bout. Borbashev
won the DRAKA World Super Middleweight Title.
After the bout, Bougara fell to the floor in
the dressing room and went into a coma. He was quickly rushed to Daniel Freeman
Hospital where a KAT scan revealed a massive hematoma (severe bleeding in
Bougara died, Monday afternoon at 3:49 pm at Daniel Freeman Memorial
Hospital in Inglewood, CA from his head injuries.
According to a hospital spokesperson, the 25-year-old France native suffered
"closed head trauma" during his DRAKA
rematch with Malik Borbashev. It was the 35th professional bout for Bougara
living in Culver City, CA USA.
His record of 28-6-1, included 11 KOs and an array of championship belts,
including French and European Muay Thai titles, as well as winning three French
full-contact titles. This clash with Borbashev was the third consecutive
meeting between the two fighters.
So WHAT lead up to his death? As the saying goes,
don't die in the ring."
What they usually suffer from was a "Previous"
injury, weeks, months, even years before their final bout.
case, it was clear what lead up to his death:
- On September 6th, 1997, Borbashev scored a 10 round decision win
- On October 18th, 1997, Bougara was KO'd in the first round.
California State Athletic Commission rules, Bougara was placed under a
mandatory 45-day suspension after being knocked out by Borbashev
on October 18th.
- However, while under suspension, Borgara fought in an "Unsanctioned
- Non Regulated" kickboxing event in Friant, CA, at Table Mountain
Casino in November, 1997, promoted by B-Jon Soukhaphivong.
bout, he was KO'ed again by well known Muay Thai fighter, Coban
Lookchaomaesaithon in the second round.
This was NOT the fault of the California State Athletic Commission because
they knew nothing about the event. Often Promoters will escape the Commissions
regulations by hosting events on NativeAmerican Land, in this case, the tribal
land of Table Mountain Casino. So, because B-Jon Soukhaphivong was
trying to "Skip" the rules and regulations oc the CSAC (In this case -
Health and Safety) - CSAC officials were never aware of the
"Unsanctioned - Non Regulated" kickboxing event, and would
not have reinstated Bougara's license prior to his final DRAKA bout "IF"
had they known of his involvement, let alone the outcome.
- In addition, on Bougara'a athletic commission license for 1998, he
failed to admit he had just been knocked out 35 days earlier at the Table
- In addition, what were his own trainers thinking?
How could his own
trainers let him fight knowing what had happened the last 60 days?
- That's just it, NO ONE, even Bougara didn't tell the California
State Athletic Commission about his last several bouts.
- To add, what was the Table Mountain promoter B-Jon Soukhaphivong's
thinking knowing he was just knocked out on October 18th to book him on a fight
less than 45 days later? That's just it... HE WASN'T...
- So Who's to blame for such a senseless death?
- Not the California State Athletic Commission. They followed their own rules
directly by the book.
- Not the Table Mountain Casino. They hired a promoter to do a job, not put a
fighters health in jeopardy.
- Not the DRAKA promoters. They knew
nothing of the Table Mountain knockout.
- Not the Sport of
DRAKA. The potential for injury in DRAKA is really no different than regular kickboxing
- Not the sport of Kickboxing. Again, it's no different in a sense than
Boxing. Blows to the head as well. And don't use the excuse of getting kicked to
the head. Bougara was hit with punches on his knockouts, not kicks.
- Although many in the media will make DRAKA
or Kickboxing out to be a violent sport and make it sound like even a "KILLER"
However, it's sad to admit that the simple truth here is human error by Bougara
himself and his trainers for allowing him to do so. He felt he could
have fought despite the fact that the real injury to his brain probably occurred
2 months earlier and the last two KO's simply added to the damage. This is why
there is a "Minimum" of a 45 day MANDATORY waiting period (Sometimes
Longer) after a knockout in Boxing and Kickboxing. Especially a knockout
caused by a blow to the head. Let this be a lesson to all trainers, fighters and
promoters that may choose to ignore such logical rules instated to SAVE a
fighters life. Let us all learn from this that some rules ARE NOT meant to be
Our hearts go out to Bougara, his family and friends. This was a
death that should have never happened. But than again, no death happens at the
Rest in Peace Mr
You will be remembered as a CHAMPION...