I should start this essay by saying that one of my good friends is a professional boxer about to compete in his first championship match and like his father, himself a former commonwealth boxing champion, he has a love and passion for the sport that as his friend I support and wish him well. However, I believe boxing is a barbaric, cruel and as outdated of a sport as fox hunting or cock fighting.
Boxing is a sport as old as time, a popular sport in ancient Rome the sport died out after the fall of the Roman Empire. However, in the 18th Century boxing was revived in London in the form of bare-knuckle prize fights in which the contestants fought for money and the spectators made wagers on the outcome. In 1857 the Queensberry rules that we follow today were drawn up finally outlawing bare knuckle fighting for good. Yet today, arguments as to its recognition as a sport are still a common occurrence among sports enthusiasts and the public alike.
Many boxers have suffered serious injury, brain damage and even death. Supporters of the sport point out that these can also be the consequences of a game of football or rugby. Many would say that this justifies boxing.
Boxing has a long history, a history of many superior battles of body and mind and of exhibitions of the limits of human strength and a history of lives being taken for entertainment. However, for many people boxing is their life. With many boxers coming from backgrounds with little opportunity, discovering boxing has given them something they can do well. Furthermore, boxing legally satisfies a hunger amongst humans for the crudest form of physical competition.
Moreover, many boxing enthusiasts would even question the singling out of their sport for such a debate. Boxing they argue, cannot be viewed any more dangerous, or damaging, than activities such as Formula one, wrestling or motorcycle racing. In fact, competitors in most sports face dangers which could result in serious injury or death. Those who oppose boxing however think that there is a great difference between the injuries and deaths in boxing and those sustained in other sports.
Since the introduction of Queensberry’s Rules, supposed to make boxing safer, over five hundred deaths have occurred as a direct result of boxing. Only two short years ago, at a hotel in Glasgow city centre a young boxer, Mike Towell, was knocked unconscious in the middle of the ring on live tv, a day later passing away in hospital. Leaving behind a grief-stricken family and a son who will grow up without his father.
Nevertheless, deaths and other injuries do occur in other sports. Importantly, though, there is a difference between these other sports and boxing. When there is an injury in a sport such as rugby or football, it has been caused through the breaking of rules or by accident. In boxing, on the other hand, the main aim of the boxer is to render his opponent unconscious.
Another argument put forward by supporters of boxing, is that It can be used to teach young people respect and discipline. Boxing teaches discipline in many ways. They will have a trainer that they have to respect and listen to. They will need to maintain work out and diet routines. And according to some supporter’s young people who learn boxing tend to not bully others and do not engage in playground fighting. However, critics say there are other non-violent ways to achieve the same results.
In summary, it is my opinion that boxing is outdated, barbaric and extremely dangerous sport that I should be banned. Despite the positives that boxing does bring to a society, it is heavily outweighed by the large number of death and serious injuries that can and do occur.