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Concord neurosurgeon Robert Cantu may dictate whether undefeated heavyweight contender Joe Mesi ever fights again.
Cantu, chief neurosurgeon and the director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital, has been asked to examine the undefeated Buffalo heavyweight after persistent reports that he sustained bleeding on the brain in the final two rounds of a victory over former cruiserweight champion Vassily Jirov several months ago.
Published reports have contended Mesi has had as many as five MRIs since the fight, with all but the final one revealing bleeding.
Under Nevada law, a boxer who suffers a subdural hematoma is medically banned for life because the Nevada State Boxing Commission believes there is a heightened chance of reinjury and brain damage. There also appears to be a connection between subdural hematomas and deaths in the ring. According to Dr. Margaret Goodman, the chief ringside physician in Nevada, the last three ring deaths in that state were a result of bleeding on the brain.