How Safe Is Amateur Boxing?

Over the years more and more people begin to associate boxing with brain damage and other bodily injuries. Even as a contact sport, however, boxing, especially at an amateur level, is largely misconceived of its safety level.

Taken from the USA Boxing website:

Is amateur boxing safer than pro boxing?
Amateur boxing is safer than pro boxing. Amateur boxing goes to great lengths to protect its athletes. Amateur boxers must wear a mouthpiece at all times, force-absorbent headgear, and a shirt to absorb sweat and dirt. Women boxers are also required to wear breast protectors. Amateur boxing gloves are designed to absorb not transmit shock. Finally, amateur boxing referees exercise more control by using eight counts and evaluating the boxers throughout the competitive bout. In addition to these things, both pre-and post-bout physicals are required of all amateur boxers.

How does amateur boxing safety rank with other contact sports?
Amateur boxing ranks as the safest sport among contact sports such as football and wrestling and among other events such as equestrian events and motorcyle racing.

Doesn't boxing rank as the sport with the most injuries?
No, according to the National Safety Council's 1996 accident report, amateur boxing ranked 23rd on its list of injuries. Boxing ranks lower in number of injuries when compared to hockey, soccer, gymnastics, and in-line skating.

What is USA Boxing doing to protect amateur boxers?
In April 1986, after concerns were raised by the America Medical Association and other medical societies, the United States Olympic Committee, at the request of USA Boxing, approved and funded a proposal by the John Hopkins Medical Institutes to initiate a prospective study of active amateur boxers. The study compared USA boxers with little or no experience boxing and compared them to active amateur boxers found no evidence of brain disfunction or central nervous system defect. The term brain dysfunction refers to the "punch drunk" syndrome which indicates an impairment of motor skills, loss of coordination and memory, and slurred speech.

How does boxing compare to other sports in amount of fatality rates?

Fatality rates per 100,000 participants

Hang gliding.............55
Scuba diving............11
Motorcycle racing......7
College football..........3