Stop Pretending Boxing Isn’t a Sport
Joan Beck’s “Stop pretending boxing is a sport” essay brings up several good arguments as to why boxing should not be considered a sport. However my viewpoint is completely different than hers. In my opinion boxing is just as much a sport as basketball, hockey and even golf.
Although Joan’s point is loud and clear about boxing only being about knocking somebody out and “unlike cars or planes or bathtubs, boxing has no purpose except to inflict enough brain damage to make an opponent unconscious”. However The Globe and Mail published an article earlier this year stating that “most sports-related brain injuries occur in hockey” and studies found that “hockey is the biggest contributor to sports-related brain injuries in children and teens”. Another article published on the Canadian MMA Law blog states that “overall risk of injury in amateur boxing [is] lower than football, hockey, wrestling and soccer”. It is as though Joan only considered injuries realted to boxing instead of other injury prone sports.
That being said, every sport and every athlete undergoes intensive training before being thrown into a competitive setting; whether it be a hockey rink, soccer field or a boxing ring. Amateur and professional boxers must have both physical and mental endurance to be able to compete. They must endure a maximum of twelve rounds, three minutes each; always being on the defensive while at the same time playing an offensive game. If they let their guard down for even a second they won’t just lose the match, they could get injured. These athletes are under a lot of stress, pressure and maybe even fear. However, nobody can be forced to do something they do not wish to do.
Although boxing is a violent sport, all the participants know what they are getting themselves into. No one goes into a sport without considering the possible consequences and risks involved. Every hockey player knows they could get slammed into the boards head first or get cut by a fly-away skate. Every football player knows that a tackle will not feel pleasant. And just the same, every boxer knows that every punch they receive and deliver will cause pain and potential injury.
To wrap things up, an athlete chooses to play a sport they love despite the possible repercussions and no one should get in the way of that. If boxing shouldn’t be a sport then being a soldier shouldn’t be considered a profession. Shooting people to cause death and being shot at, in my opinion, is much more dangerous than a fair fight between two individuals. But hey, someone has to do it. Everybody strives to be great at something and if an individual is good at boxing and feels good while boxing, who are we to deny somebody that feeling? Finally, in the words of one of the greatest professional boxers of all time, Mike Tyson; “The [temptation] for greatness is the biggest drug in the world.”