Usha
Saw the movie "Million dollar baby"- great performance by Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood. But I just simply could not watch the boxing scenes - could not understand the heroine's passion for this sport or anyone's. Is it a sport at all when it seems to be founded on the principle of hurting another person fatally? It is not something which tests your defensive skills but positively all energy is directed at offending - the intimidating looks , the posture, the jabbing, slapping, and flurry of blows - how can civilised people enjoy something so bloody? Or is it an outlet for the animal that lurks inside that civilised exterior?
One of the arguments offered against ban on boxing is "when a person chooses boxing he is aware if the danger to his life and he makes a free choice. So why ban it?"
What kind of an argument is that? When you are not allowed to choose death when you are terminally ill, how can you allow a healthy person a choice of death in this manner?
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6 Responses
  1. Pradeep Says:

    We had boxing in school (Sainik School, Thiruvananthapuram). Ours was the only school in Kerala which had a proper boxing ring and proper contests. It was one of the most eagerly awaited inter-school competition. We all were trained in it as a part of physical exercise.

    At school level it is not as dangerous as it is made out to be, especially when contests are conducted under the watchful eyes of trainers. At least, I didn't find it to be. It has its plus points like building of self-confidence, etc etc.

    I think what you are referring to is the competitive boxing at the highest levels. There, it is a different sport altogether. Lots of money, betting etc etc take place; and I don't think one competitor would even hesitate to kill the other, or really injure him; so he is knocked out of future tournaments.

    The problem is not with the game (especially when it is used as part of physical training in schools.) The problem is with the big money involved in it at those very high levels. World Boxing Federation should do something... Since at that stage of competition, the game has descended to such disrepute, I don't know how it can be salvaged.


  2. Usha Says:

    Pradeep,
    thanks for your insight into boxing of which i know so little. Very interesting!
    I still feel that you can use many other sports to develop self confidence - defensive fighting skills like karate for example. Even wrestling isn't so bad.
    Ya this championship title level boxing is just like war - look at their eyes!
    I came across something interesting on this:

    "How can you enjoy so brutal a sport, people sometimes ask me.

    Or pointedly don't ask.

    And it's too complex to answer. In any case I don't "enjoy" boxing in the usual sense of the word, and never have; boxing isn't invariably "brutal"; and I don't think of it as a "sport."

    Nor can I think of boxing in writerly terms as a metaphor for something else. No one whose interest began as mine did in childhood--as an offshoot of my father's interest--is likely to think of boxing as a symbol of something beyond itself, as if its uniqueness were merely an abbreviation, or iconographic; though I can entertain the proposition that life is a metaphor for boxing--for one of those bouts that go on and on, round following round, jabs, missed punches, clinches, nothing determined, again the bell and again and you and your opponent so evenly matched it's impossible not to see that your opponent is you: and why this struggle on an elevated platform enclosed by ropes as in a pen beneath hot crude pitiless lights in the presence of an impatient crowd?--that sort of hellish-writerly metaphor. Life is like boxing in many unsettling respects. But boxing is only like boxing. "
    Marvelous Marvin Hagler,
    middleweight champion of the world


  3. Absolutely agree! I think it's a Horrible Ghastly Disgusting Thing! Cannot understand how people sit and watch it! And imagine all those small children sitting and watching it on TV! Oh My God.


  4. My mom has pretty much the same opinion about biking!!!
    Okay, I understand that its not the same. In boxing the "Intent" itself is to harm the oponent.
    To an extent I agree with you. They can make it less painful. Like, say, Fencing.


  5. mm..going by your theory then almost all games need to be banned..deaths happen in football,rugby, marathon and even cricket. we'll be left with playing scrabble / chess.

    Sports is physical activity where your body is stressed out..for different sports, you need to different times to recover.thats all. in fact there are so many forms of boxing practised world-wide, even in indian-villages like kushti, its there for a reason and purpose! Probably you can make it little more safer with stringent rules in boxing competitions, but ban is something like saying bangalore roads are dangerous, hence not use it at all..

    ah..its probably better to fight with your opponent in a ring with your fists than in the real world where u dont know where your opponent is hiding with the gun!

    cheers,
    veera.


  6. In its defense:
    I boxed myself - competitively - in two weight categories. Yet, as my friends will ascertain, I am not malicious or overtly aggresive. Boxing is not, as you put it, based entirely on 'hurting someone'. If you have had the pleasure of watching Ali fight... the various facets of boxing will be in plain view. There is as much parrying, defending, mind games and sheer stamina - as in any other sport. If it is the spirit of competition that puts you off, then the same can be said of any one-on-one duel. Fencing, swordsmanship, martial arts, wrestling even! None of these are necessary! Yet, despite the near certainty of injury, we seem to have no problem with it. Take motorsports (I do love it... and hence it makes it easy for me to use it as an example). We all aim to push ourselves to see what we're made of - some intellectually, some in the arts, some in solitude, and some - by boxing.