I have followed CTE pretty closely, and I don't think it's the monster KOs that does it. I think it's the sub-concussive blows from sparring 3 x a week, for 20 years. So the guys most likely to develop CTE are not going to be obvious from looking at the ass end of highlight reels.
Can you elaborate on what you see as some of the other variables to accelerating CTE?
For example, size/weight class? Lifestyle? Diet? Sport(I assume boxing would be the most impactful)?
The number on contributing factor is head trauma. After that, even for smart people, it's just guess work. For me, it's like making s up.
But, yah, I think it's the hard sparring. It sort of stands to reason biologically. Via falls, violence, etc, we get hit hugely in the head occassionally during our life. That should leave us f'd to tears. But I don't think we are woodpeckers, built to take endless head trauma. I mean, evolutionarily, how would that happen?
After head trauma, and this is purely anecdotal, so take it for what it's worth which is about nothing, I think partying (drugs and probably more significantly alcohol) plays a huge role. It could simply be that beer is a diuertic. But I've seen guys that never booze seemingly do fine, and guys who party hard seem to get punchy more readily. It's not like a hard and fast rule, but def seems to trend that way.
And I think heavyweights get less CTE than I would expect, I think maybe because they don't cut.
I am super interested in what other people might think?
repeated subconcussive head trauma (years of hard sparring)
concussions (lights are shut off for a reason)
partying (alcohol, cocaine, etc)
I personally believe it is the make up of these 4 things. I was talking to a friend of Meldrick Taylor's one time at the gym. He said Meldrick was having some problems. I asked if it was the JC Chavez fight, but he thought it was more the Philadelphia gym wars (legendary back then) and his hard party lifestyle that contributed the most to it.
Obviously getting knocked out then having the back of your head bounce off the canvas can cause damage. Some guys seem to be genetically immune to the cognitive damage, while others develop problems that you would not expect (did not take as much abuse in comparison to others). Some people have thicker skulls and tougher, more elastic blood vessels for example.