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“BraceGate”: Should Sergio Martinez be allowed to wear a knee brace in the ring?

Sergio Martinez is set to fight Miguel Cotto this weekend in Madison Square Garden. The usual conversation of who is going to take the win and in what round has changed over the last few days. WBC Middleweight Champion Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO’s) will not be allowed to wear a knee brace in the ring.

The surprising decision to not permit Martinez, who had a second surgery on his right knee last April, came from the New York State Athletic Commission, but the reasons for their ruling are unclear. In 2010, the NYSAC allowed Yuri Foreman to fight Cotto with a knee brace on.

Some have speculated that the need for a knee brace indicates that Martinez in not 100% physically able to compete. Others believe it will give him some kind of advantage by giving him additional knee support. On the flipside, there are some who think it will give Cotto the upper hand, being able to clearly identify a potential weakness in his opponent. But is protecting an previous injury some kind of advantage or a smart medical decision?

Preventing knee reinjury is crucial for any athlete looking to keep their career going and to not suffer from chronic pain long after their fighting days are over. We see knee braces in professional sports everyday; why should the boxing ring be any different?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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  1. I know in Australia athletes aren’t allowed to compete while wearing braces. Instead they use a lot of medical tape for support. I wonder if Martinez would have been cleared if he was asking to use tape rather than a brace?

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