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Not that dangerous
Is boxing worth the risk?
Member Name: Carrow Road Canary
Is boxing worth the risk?
Date: 20/12/00, updated on 24/12/00 (864 review reads)
Advantages: Boxers know risks
Disadvantages: Can be dangerous
Boxing critics will say that it is a barbaric and unnecessary sport, as it’s main objective is to injure the opponent. The harshest opponents of the sport have, since Saturday’s bout, called for boxing to be made illegal. However, this is extremely unlikely to occur.
Hundreds of people in Britain make a living from professional boxing and hundreds more dream of following in the footsteps of Lennox Lewis or Prince Naseem Hamed. There is likely to be far too much opposition from both the boxers and the fans for any government to be brave enough to ban boxing. There are also other big problems with banning boxing.
A lot of people, including myself, believe that this would actually increase the risks involved in boxing. At first this sounds ludicrous – “how can a sport become more dangerous if it is illegal?” I hear you say. Well if boxing is banned it will not go away, it will just continue illegally. The only difference with this being that the current safety measures that are in place (which are, incidentally, very good) will cease to exist. This would result in an increased risk in a sport which many already consider to be far too dangerous.
Also the biggest fighters in Britain would not stop fighting – they would just go to America where safety measures are no better than they are in Britain.
One politician, Paul Flynn suggested that he wanted to “outlaw blows to the head in the same way that blows below the waist are banned now”. If you are going to do this you then might as well just ban boxing altoge
ther, as boxers would just cover up their bodies and every fight would end in a stalemate. As I read somewhere today, “boxing without head punches is like Formula One with a 50mph speed limit.”
Other suggestions to make boxing safer include the idea that all boxers should be made to wear protective headwear. However, many boxing experts, believe that this actually increases the risk of serious injury. This is because it increases the speed at which the skull twists and therefore increases the damage done to the brain.
So far I have looked at what could be done to change the sport. However, is boxing really that bad and do changes need to be made?
Although it is tragic when injuries such as the ones inflicted on Paul Ingle occur, boxing is in fact a very safe sport. I read that only 18 people have died in Britain in boxing since something like 1930, and most of these were before current safety measures were brought into place. Considering that the number of fights which take place each year in Britain, well into the thousands, this is hardly anything.
Other sports such as Equestrian, Formula One and Fishing (yes fishing) are far more dangerous – but you don’t get people calling for bans on these sports every time a terrible accident occurs. Many people have died in horse sports, recent deaths in Formula One include those of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger and more people are injured or die in fishing than any other sport in this country.
Boxing is also a sport that keeps potential criminals off the streets. Many professional boxers have been in prison before finding boxing, which has helped them to rebuild their lives.
Boxers also know exactly what the risks of the sport are – nobody forces them to enter the ring. Professional boxers are professional boxers because they choose to be professional boxers.
The only sensible suggestion to make boxing safer that I have heard is for doct
ors to be able to pull a boxer out of a fight if they feel that serious damage I being done, although this would be very hard to implement as many boxers would be upset if a doctor forced them stop unfairly in their eyes.