Zach Kirk experienced only 20 years of an active physical life before an amateur fight in Iowa resulted in a broken neck and paralysis. An article in the Des Moines Register updates his story: While he's regained some minimal feeling in his arms, he is not likely to have a happy ending.
Kirk believes it was an unavoidable accident, but what galls supporters is the unregulated scene of states like Iowa, which mandates athletic commission policy only on the professional level. There was no insurance covering the event, so Kirk's massive medical bills were his own responsibility.
In Waterloo, Iowa, 17-year-old Jerod Butts lied about his age and was allowed to get battered by an adult in an unsanctioned amateur event.
There is irony in the idea that a state will intervene in fights between professionals, for whom skill and technique could mean less risk of catastrophic injury, but leave inexperienced fighters without the resources or protection needed. Kirk's is a cautionary tale. Is anyone listening?