We are excited to Welcome
Dr. Margaret Goodman

1 Rad-Reader Reviews Interview

Death in Vegas

Rad-Reader:  How long were you working on this book before it got published?

Margaret: About 10 years ago, I started writing a tell-all.  Then I recognized that because I needed to work and still live in Las Vegas I could end up at the bottom of Lake Mead--so I opted for a novel.  I actually began Death in Vegas about 5 years ago. I stopped writing for about 3 years when my lap top was stolen and I stupidly forgot to back up my work.  I started writing again 2 years ago.

Rad-Reader:  Were any of the fighters or trainers based on any people you knew?

Margaret:  No, no specific fighters, however, the situations are based on real-life boxing experiences by myself or others.

Rad-Reader:  How difficult was it to be accepted into a male dominated sport, even as a doctor?

Margaret:  Back in the early '90's, it was tough. I was the only female ring physician in Nevada. Since then there has only been one other. There are more around the world, but when I started I was one of 5 worldwide.  The fighters never minded, but it was often a point of contention by promoters.  Promoters (and sometimes fighter/trainers) will use anyone to overturn a decision or get a rematch. It's part of the game, and you can't take anything too person.

Rad-Reader:  Do you think trainers are looking out for their boxers?  Or do they get caught up in the money?

Margaret:  Everyone is sports gets caught up not only in money, but the power. Power often takes precedence.

Rad-Reader:  In the book the fighter is either taking a certain drug or given to him by someone.  How is this stopped?

Margaret:  Margaret:  It stops when athletes learn for themselves what is legal or prohibited. They need to understand the harmful side effects of these drugs, and they need to believe in clean sport. It's why I started the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. It's a unique organization dedicated to clean sport in boxing and mixed martial arts.

Rad-Reader:  How much testing is done on the fighters head prior to the match?

Margaret: Depends on the jurisdiction. In many, places there is no testing other than a yearly physical exam, while in other places a fighter can receive a yearly brain MRI.

Rad-Reader:  I know they weigh in and physicals are done but do they do blood work and or any brain scans before or after? 

Margaret: As per above, it depends. In Nevada, all fighters over 35 typically receive a yearly MRI.  Blood tests vary depending if you are newly licensed. Most commissions require yearly HIV and hepatitis B/C testing.

Rad-Reader:  With so much money to be made like now with the big fight just announced.  Does this make your job harder or easier to get MRI’s done?

Margaret: Shouldn't make a difference.

Rad-Reader:  Do you feel any pressure from the boxing community in not wanting you to do these tests?

Margaret:  Often. No promoter wants tests performed on fighters that could limit a fighter's career or prevent a fight from taking place.  Unlike many sports, ring physicians are independent contractors--not employed by the team or athlete. That lessens conflicts of interest, and the physicians are not paid to get the athlete back in the ring/field.  Nevertheless, the pressure remain great.

Rad-Reader:  Was this story from bits and pieces of boxers you knew about or all of it made up, except the medical parts?

Margaret:  As mentioned about, the situations were mostly real, but with manufactured characters

Rad-Reader:  I have noticed in boxing that one state does not issue a license the boxer goes to another one and gets one.  Anyway to make this practice stop?  Examples Nevada & New Jersey. 

Margaret:  Jurisdiction shopping happens all too often. This can occur where a fighter that may have a medical condition or has had too many losses is shopped to a commission with less testing requirements.

Rad-Reader:  In the story the boxer goes into Mexico, how difficult is it to stop an American fighter to go to another country?

Margaret:  There are no restrictions. In my novel, the fighter trained there, and actually did have a fight there. This isn't that uncommon. We do see many, many fighters from Mexico be used as opponents for American fighters---this is often unfair if the match-up is unequal. But fighters travel worldwide depending on where the fight opportunities exist.

Rad-Reader:  Do any of these other countries have any regulations or can people just box?

Margaret:  Every country has regulations--this may include drug testing, neurological exams, etc... it varies considerably.

Rad-Reader:  Do you think there are any reporters like in your story looking into the dark side of the sport?

Margaret:  Sadly, far and few between!  It is a difficult road to travel. Promoters can freeze journalists out of fights. In other words, if the promoter doesn't like what you write, they can take away/restrict your credential (to attend the fight).  This can happen even if you represent a high-profile newspaper or web site.

Rad-Reader:  Do the big paydays offset the cost of long term damage to some of the boxers, to justify it to themselves?

Margaret:  Not in my mind.  Fighters have little or no health insurance coverage, no pensions, and often don't learn how to handle their finances--even if they are successful.  Several years ago, while I was still a ring physician, I put together a book with Dr. Flip Homansky (my partner) calledRingside and Training Principles. We offered it free to all fighters and trainers. It dealt with health issues, but also issues like handling your finances and evaluating contracts.

Rad-Reader:  I noticed that your book was published independently, was that by choice?

Margaret:  Yes and no... I did try to obtain an agent, but it was difficult/time consuming, so I opted to go with a small publisher Win by KO, who publishes boxing books--predominantly non-fiction.

Rad-Reader:  Amy plans for another book along the same lines?  This one was great so another one I think would do well.

Margaret:  Thank you so much...  Yes, working on another novel set in Las Vegas and the world of mixed martial arts.  Although fiction, it will be a strong expose into performance enhancing drugs.

Rad-Reader:  Is there another Author you would recommend for me to read to further help your cause?

Margaret:  Yes!!! Read anything about boxing written by my good friend Thomas Hauser.  And please check out to learn more about performance enhancing drugs in sport and what we are doing to promote clean sport. It is truly a unique organization.  To learn more about me check out my website Thanks for the opportunity for the interview.

You can buy her book at:

Margaret Goodman MD | President/Board Chairman
Las Vegas, Nevada neurologist, Dr. Margaret Goodman’s first experience in unarmed combat sports came when she was asked to perform a neurological consultation in 1993 on a high-profile boxer whose bout was canceled the night of the fight due to dizziness. She has remained a strong advocate for fighter health and safety ever since.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Goodman grew up in Southern California. She received a B.A. from University of California at Los Angeles in 1975, a M.D from Chicago Medical School in 1984, completed an Internal Medicine internship and a residency in Neurology in a combined program through the West Los Angeles VA and UCLA in 1988. Moving to Las Vegas in 1988, she began private practice in Neurology, with emphasis on headache management, where she is head of the Headache Center of Southern Nevada.
From 1993-96, Dr. Goodman performed neurological evaluations on famed boxers such as George Foreman, Meldrick Taylor and Thomas Hearns at the request of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, while she trained as a ring physician for amateur boxing. In 1994, she was appointed to the Commission as a professional ring physician—one of a handful of women ring doctors in the world. From 1994-2005, she worked ringside in over five-hundred boxing and mixed martial arts bouts and was the NSAC’s Chief Ringside Physician from 2004-05. In 2001, she was appointed by then Governor Kenny Guinn as the NSAC’s Medical Advisory Chairman and served until her term ended in 2007.
Dr. Goodman was instrumental in establishing cost-effective MRI/MRA testing on fighters, making Nevada the second U.S. jurisdiction to institute routine neuroimaging. On a national level, Dr. Goodman was the Association of Boxing Commission’s Medical Committee co-chairman from 2001-05, then chairman from 2005-06 and Medical Advisor to the International Professional Ring Officials from 2000-2005. She was a consultant to the New York State Attorney General’s Office regarding neurological injuries in boxing in 1999 and the NY State legislature on improving boxing safety in 2001.
In 2005 she received the Boxing Writers Association of America’s James A. Farley Award in recognition of a career marked by “honesty and integrity,” and has been recognized by the Association of Professional Ring Physicians as Educator of the Year.
Dr. Goodman has appeared on HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Fox sports and Fox News, ABC and CBS, as a recognized expert on boxing and boxing-related injuries. She appeared in HBO’s acclaimed boxing documentary series, Legendary Nights, the 2009 documentary After the Last Round.
Dr. Goodman has given interviews to newspapers, magazines and websites on medical issues as the relate to boxing and MMA including: Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, New York Daily News, LA Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Maxim , Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, LA Daily News, LV Review Journal, LV Sun, KO Magazine, Full Contact Fighter, ESPN, the Magazine, Las Vegas Life,,,, No Holds Barred at and
In 2000, Dr. Goodman co-edited and was a contributing author to Ringside and Training Principles, a book prepared under the auspices of the NSAC for fighters, and co-wrote a chapter in the 2009 text Combat Sports Medicine on “The Professional Athlete.” Since 2004, she wrote a monthly column entitled “The Fight Doctor” for The Ring magazine from 2004-2012, as well as many web-based articles on boxing and MMA for sites including,,,, and
She has lectured before the North American Boxing Federation, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation, the Association of Boxing Commissions, U.S. Amateur Boxing Physician Certification Course, American College of Sports Medicine, Association of Professional Ringside Physicians, Louisiana Athletic Trainers Association and the American Back Society.
Dr. Goodman currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her hobbies include dressage horseback riding, cooking and raising chickens.

2012: Elected to the board of the Association of Ring Physicians
2012: Named by HBO’s The Fight Game’s Person of the Year

We would like to thank Dr. Margaret Goodman for her time in answering all our questions.  The knowledge she brings to this sport is amazing.  We have so much to learn about how each sport can take a toll on the human body.  I am sure no one is saying to stop all sports or activities that can possibly cause head injuries. Only let's take the necessary measure to be safe. We hope you will take a look at her book and that you have found her interview as enlightening as we have.
Thanks for spending time with us,
1 Rad-Reader Reviews

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