I used to be a fan of boxing when I was younger, watching the historic rise (and fall) of Tyson, seeing Marvin Hagler robbed of the fight against Sugar Ray Leanord, but the older I get the more barbaric is appears. I used to think a noble sport, keeping kids off streets, there are not thugs honest, but after watching the Michael Watson v Chris Eubank tragedy and meeting several ex boxers in Cheltenham who used to beat their wives (see Jake La Motta), my opinion began to change.
This week saw a kids ‘exhibition’ cage fight – it’s mixed martial arts (therefore justified) and the cage prevents them from falling out of the ring, so they don’t get hurt – two eight year olds goaded on by lots of adults to do whatever the point of cage fighting is (the whole thing of Ultimate fighting etc has passed me by); and now the WSB, part of the olympic committee boxing organisors, have been accused of accepted money from an ‘investor’ from Azerbaijani, to ensure that the country wins at least two gold medals.
There has always been other people pulling the strings in the fight game, outside influences who have money to be made out of two people punching / kicking the crap of each other. All types of animal fighting is banned – no free will (but horse racing allowed because horses love to run!) but gambling on and goading two consenting adults / children to batter each other is accepted. I think what I’m trying to say is exploitation exists wherever it is allowed and it is usually the people with money/power that do the exploiting at the expense of the weak and the vulnreable. Unfortunately the nature of the sport means it is the weak and the vulnreable that will then get hurt.