The death of boxer Willie Classen has triggered an investigation into New York State Athletic Commission, it was announced yesterday by State Sen. Roy Goodman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Investigations, Taxation and Government Operations.
"The scope of our investigation will be much beyond the Classen tragedy," Goodman said. "We want to take a comprehensive look at the state athletic commission."
Goodman said he was troubled to learn that Dr. Richard Izquierdo, the ringside physician Friday night when Classen was knocked out by Wilfred Scypion, "is listed as an assistant [WORD ILLEGIBLE] physician in pediatrics at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
"That raises the broader question on the selection of physicians to be on duty at ringside," the senator said. "Knowledge in neurology and cardiology is important. You wonder if athletic medicine is understood in boxing circles."
Classen, 29, died Wednesday night after never regaining consciousness. He was knocked out in the 10th round of the fight against Scypion after taking an eight-count late in the ninth round. After the round, he was examined in his corner by Izquierdo and referee Lew Eskin.
The cause of death was listed as "cardiac arrest, secondary to brainstem failure, secondary to a subdural hematoma."