Boxing, the seemingly bloody sport which is loved by many and hated by few. To the untrained eye it is a sport that promotes brutality and violence, however if you are really invested in it you may see that it actually promotes things like discipline. Of course it is risky, however I think the risks are comparable to sports and activities that are even more popular than boxing such as American Football which literally consists of players bashing their head together with a lot of force, increasing the risk of someone developing CTE in their later life. It is also America’s most popular sport even though it holds a higher risk of fatal head injuries than boxing. The same goes for things like motorcycle racing, horse racing and mountaineering, so why aren’t they called out to be banned? There is a reason why boxing has been represented in so many ways like in movies, tv shows and has become a multi-billion dollar sport. Its clearly loved by people so why should someone take that away from the people?
The sport teaches discipline. As well as things like exercise and diet, it also informs young people when and when not to fight, emphasizing the need for establishing mental control as well as physical. It also gives young people self-defence skills and can increase self-esteem, including the ability to defend themselves if physically assaulted. Boxing also provides a way for disadvantaged youths to remove themselves from poverty when something like a university education is out of their reach and can help discourage inner-city youngsters to stay away from things such as gangs as it is keeps them occupied and is an outlet for troubled youths to release anger and frustration in a controlled environment.
If you look at fighters such as Rocky Marciano, you would see that boxing really promotes things such as persistence and determination in order to overcome someone’s shortcomings and promotes. Rocky Marciano retired in 1956 as the world’s only undefeated Heavyweight Boxing Champion, an achievement that still stands today. He had 49 fights and won every single one, 43 of them with knockouts.
For a heavyweight, he was small, at just under 5’11’, and he weighed only 185 lbs (13st 3lb), but he probably brought more heart into the boxing ring than any fighter in the history of the sport. He overcame his relative physical shortcomings with a willingness to endure as much punishment necessary to defeat his opponent. Seemingly impervious to pain, he was willing to take three or four punches in order to land one, his famous right-hand haymaker known as the ‘Suzy-Q’. So determined was his relentless pursuit of victory that nothing – and I mean nothing – would stop him. And never was this more apparent than when he fought for the heavyweight championship against ‘Jersey Joe’ Walcott in September 1952 as a 3 -1 underdog.
Within the first 40 seconds, Walcott dumps Rocky onto the seat of his pants, the first time anyone has ever knocked him down in his whole career. He’s back on his feet within a few seconds, but he takes a fearsome beating throughout the first 7 rounds, although he gradually begins to pull back and wear Walcott down with sledgehammer blows to his ribs and arms. But as the final round arrives, all 3 judges have Walcott ahead on points. It’s do or die.
Battered, bruised, bleeding and hardly able to see, Rocky knows that the only way he can win is with a knockout. A gap opens in Walcott’s defense and he throws the ‘Suzy-Q’, landing it squarely on his opponent’s chin. Almost in slow motion, Walcott collapses against the ropes, falling first on to one knee and then slowly toppling on to his face. He doesn’t get up. He’s out for the count.