By Ger Ball
The recent death of professional Scottish Muay Thai boxer Jordan Coe has been labelled ‘unacceptable’ by a Dublin Kickboxing instructor after it was revealed that the boxer died attempting to reach a desired weight for a fight.
Filippo Mugendo, a kickboxing instructor at the Sta Lan Do Mugendo Kickboxing club in Dublin, feels that the death of Jordon Coe is worrying and it highlights a growing trend in boxing wherein professional athletes often go through alarming routines to make the weight needed.
“It’s not okay that this happened. Lots of kickboxers will have to make certain weights and they’ll often go towards starving themselves, dehydrating themselves and sitting in Saunas every day as they’ll lose as much as 1 kilo per day this way. It’s dangerous and what happened to Jordon shows it” said Mugendo.
Mugendo has been training kickboxers since the 1970’s and he believes that if you’re not comfortably able to reach the weight without going to extremes, you shouldn’t risk your safety.
“I have boxers coming to me that are 5 kilos over or under the required weight with only a week to go before the fight. It is possible to lose or gain all that weight in such a time but you’ll be risking both your performance levels and ultimately your health” he said.
Mugendo also noted that people shouldn’t be deterred by kickboxing after the recent passing of Coe, but he stressed that it’s a contact sport and needs to be respected.
“Kickboxing is a highly contact sport and you must be fit to do well. You are going to get hit, and you are going to get hit hard. This story should stop people from going to extreme lengths to achieve their goals – but it shouldn’t put people off the sport. It’s a great sport but as this story shows, it’s not without its issues”.
Jordan Coe started his boxing journey by training at the Carnage Muay Thai Gym in Grangemouth in east Stirlingshire, Scotland, before moving to Ubon Rathchatani in southwestern Thailand to further pursue his Muay Thai boxing career.
Jordan had been expected to fight a Cambodian boxer in the Muang district last Sunday night and was expected to return home to Scotland in the summer to fight at the Glasgow Thai Boxing Academy.
Many boxers like Jordan are often faced with the dilemma of shedding significant weight to make their fight weight and as Jordan’s story sadly proved, this can have serious consequences.