A Sad Reminder As To Why We Have
Medical Suspensions...


Redone Bougara
Fights 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 happened.

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 WARRIOR!
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 Kickboxers.

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 fightfax.boxing@verizon.net) 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.

THURSDAY, January 8th, 1998 4:00 PM

Redone Bougara'S Death

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 the brain). 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,
"fighters don't die in the ring."
What they usually suffer from was a "Previous" injury, weeks, months, even years before their final bout.
In Bougara's case, it was clear what lead up to his death:

  • On September 6th, 1997, Borbashev scored a 10 round decision win over Bougara.

  • On October 18th, 1997, Bougara was KO'd in the first round.
    Under 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.
    In this 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 Mountain event.
    • 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 or boxing.
    • 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" sport.

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 broken!

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 right time.

Rest in Peace Mr Bougara...
You will be remembered as a CHAMPION...