Medical Officers

Both the Malta Boxing Commission and MBC International endeavour to ensure that when a doctor is appointed to the panel of recognised Medical Officers, he or she does not just have knowledge of the most common injuries that may occur during the course of a boxing match, but also have full knowledge of all injuries as well as are able to spot the signs of possible neurological problems, to this end every Doctor appointed receives a copy of the Association of Boxing Commission Ringside Medicine Handbook.

Only MBC head office can appoint Medical Officers, as well as provide the appointment of ringside medical coverage at any event sanctioned by the Malta Boxing Commission or MBC International, As such promoters are not permitted to make their own arrangements for the medical coverage at events sanctioned by the Malta Boxing Commission or MBC International.

On the day of a boxing event, or in the case of Championship bouts also the day before an event, the official MBC Medical Officer appointed for the event will attend the weigh in, where each boxer undertakes a pre-bout medical examination and is questioned on his/her medical history.

This applies to all boxers, whether licensed by Malta Boxing Commission or those from overseas and licensed by another recognised national boxing organisation.

If the Medical Officer is unsatisfied about the condition of either boxer, then he/she will not sign the required form, without which the bout would not be allowed to take place.

It is a requirement that at least one doctor, as well as two fully qualified and equipped paramedics, be seated ringside before an event can begin. It should also be noted that it is an MBC requirement that a fully equipped ambulance must be on standby immediately positioned at the nearest entrance to the medical room prior to commencement of a MBC Sanctioned event.

Doctors and Paramedics at ringside must be clearly identifiable and seated where they can see clearly and gain immediate access to the ring should a competitor require treatment.

At least one of the ringside Medical Officers must be practised and qualified in the management of an unconscious or partially conscious patients. In effect this means that at least one of the doctors in attendance at an MBC sanctioned event is either a Consultant Anaesthetist, a Consultant in an Accident and Emergency Unit at a hospital or an Emergency Response Trauma Specialist

Whilst the referee is in sole charge of any bout and as such the only person permitted to stop a contest, the Medical Officer may call for the attention of the Referee should he/she be concerned for the health and safety of a competing boxer.

The Medical Officer may also, on inspection of an injury or inspection of a competitor during the one minute break between rounds, advise the referee that the contest should not continue for the health and safety of the competitor.

The Ringside Medical Officers are responsible in inspecting both competitors immediately on the conclusion of the bout, to ensure the health and safety of the competitor as well as undertake a post bout medical.

No boxer is permitted to leave a venue after a contest without having been cleared fit to do so by one of the Medical Officers in attendance.

Ringside Medical Officers have the power to impose or extend a medical suspension on a licence regardless of whether or not the boxer has won, lost or drawn the contest.

MBC Chief Medical Officer, Dr Mark Xuereb M.D., M.R.C.Psych.(UK), M.C.E.M.(UK), M.M.C.F.D. provides advice to the MBC Board, as well as co-operates with Medical Officers from each of the Regional Councils. Dr Xuereb is a member of the national crisis team at Mater Dei University Hospital, Malta, as well as manages his own crisis team in a private pharmacy and private hospital in Malta.

In addition both the Malta Boxing Commission and MBC International are able to call upon a number of specialists Consultants, in the UK, Malta and Europe, within the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology and cardiology, which ensures that they have the best treatment available for their license holders as well as are able to keep abreast of developments within these specialist areas.