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Argument Against Boxing Essay, Research Paper

Mr. Chairperson, members of the opposition, ladies and gentlemen. This house believes that boxing should be banned. I am proposing this motion.

Bradley Stone, James Murray, Jacob Greenwalt, Jimmy Garcia, Lance Hobson. Names familiar in the world of boxing and beyond. Why? These fit young men were all legally murdered in a boxing ring.To this list can also be added the names of at least 46 others who gave their lives in the name of boxing. Think also of the thousands injured over the years. The pitiful images of these men who have had their dreams of fame shattered along with their brains.

Those opposing this motion are supporting legalised killing. Boxing is unique in the world of sport in that the main objective is to blast your opponents brain with so many blows to the skull that the victim either loses consciousness or else becomes so disorientated that he can no longer continue. The ultimate aim in this barbarous sport is to leave your opponent lying senseless on the canvas.

The fact that boxing is dangerous is beyond question. Neurosurgeons have calculated that a bout involves a boxer’s skull being repeatedly pounded with the force of a 10 pound hammer at speeds of up to 20 m.p.h.Every punch landed on a boxer’s head causes the brain to suffer another trauma. Imagine the typical boxer’s nose. In most boxer’s careers, he has suffered several fractures of the nose. He can recover from a broken nose. He may possibly be able to breathe through it again but he has almost certainly lost his sense of smell and has definitely got a very scarred and misshapen nose. Now picture similar injuries being deliberately inflicted on the brain. Many people attribute Muhammed Ali’s predicament and ill-health to his numerous wars in the boxing arena and there is circumstantial evidence to suggest it was brought on by his lengthy boxing career. He is now a shambling, incoherent shadow of a once-splendid figure.

Since 1982, the British Medical Association (BMA), who represent 87% of UK doctors, has been trying to have this so-called ‘noble art’ banned. They have campaigned passionately for the ban in the interests of the health of these otherwise fit, young men.These are the same doctors who have to pick up the broken, bloodied bodies and try to bring some degree of dignity back to the lives of brain-damaged ex-boxers.

Those doctors, and they are few, who support boxing say that there are ‘no serious risks’ if proper medical attention is available at the ringside. We have all seen the results with Michael Watson of what happens when medical assistance does not reach the injured boxer as soon as he is hurt. Former world-champion, Barry McGuigan has said ‘Michael suffered irreparable damage because they didn’t get him under the surgeon’s knife in time.’ This proves that even the prominent and elite boxers believe that the medical help provided at the ringside is not of the highest desirable standard. On the night that Michael Watson was injured there should have been paramedics, anaesthetists and two emergency ambulances on stand-by at the arena. They weren’t there. When the case reached the High Court, the Court ruled that the BBBC had not provided sufficient ringside medical care. And this was in a big money fight. What chance is there for the amateur fights if the professionals can’t get it right? Frank Warren, a boxing promoter, has said that “boxing tragedies are very rare in this country. There has only been 8 deaths in 50 years caused by boxing”. Only 8? Is this something that boxing can feel proud of? I think not.

There are those who believe that if proper headgear and heavier gloves were introduced, it would reduce the number of boxers being killed or seriously injured. Experts have proved that headgear absorbs sweat thereby making the boxer’s head heavier. This increases the pendulum motion in the head which doctors believe increases the risk of brain damage.

Dr. Jeff Cundy of the BMA has studied the effects of blows to the head on the brain and says that time is now up for the sport. 15 – 20% of boxers ending a professional career develop the ‘punch-drunk syndrome’ consisting of intellectual deterioration, loss of memory, slurred speech and difficulty in walking. Death occurs some 10 to 15 years earlier than average. These figures are also true of amateur boxing. Joseph Stricklen was only 15 years old when he died from a haemorrhage following a fight. Others have been beaten within an inch of their lives and have spent months in a coma. The sheer brutality of boxing is not to be encouraged in the light of overwhelming evidence that brain damage and physical disabilities are the most likely outcome for a lot of fighters.

Grown men trying to bludgeon each other with their fists in the name of sport is not what could be called family entertainment. Rendering one’s opponent unconscious is the ultimate goal — death, in a sense, represents the ideal.

Why do young men, and also now young women, take part in a sport that carries with it so many dangers? “Sugar” Ray Robinson is punch-drunk; Muhammed Ali’s symptoms suggest a similar neurological condition; Bradley Stone is dead. The risks are thus twofold, short-term injury of the kind that killed Bradley Stone and others, and long term mental and physical deterioration.

The brutality of boxing makes many members of the liberal middle class feel uncomfortable. It is a celebration of the principle that if someone hits you, you hit them back-harder. When someone knocks you down, you get up and try to hurt them in return. There is a clear winner and a loser and the hardest, most determined guy wins. These are not the sort of values that we are supposed to uphold and respect.

Boxing is a social risk to us all because it brutalises society. In boxing, you aim to punch your opponent’s head. If you do that in football, you get sent off. What is so precious about footballers that they need this safeguard? Are boxers not worthy of this special attention too? Boxers are asked to participate in 12 rounds of absolute savagery before collecting their pay packet along with their stitches and other medical aid.

Boxing is not just dangerous, it’s a crime — it represents the worst qualities of humankind. Boxing is vicious, boxing is barbaric, boxing is legalized murder. Boxing should be banned now before another young man’s name is added to the list of the dead.


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