Recently in the media, there has been much talk about whether or not the popular sport of boxing is too dangerous because of the potential risks it poses to competitors. Some people believe that if serious damage can be made to the body deliberately, then the act should not be permitted and consequently, deemed illegal. I intend to argue against this point of view, by firmly stating my opinions on the issue with evidence that can fully justify my comments.
Firstly, I do not think anybody can argue against my strongest point, which is that every single boxer in Britain has taken part in the sport on his own accord, and has definitely not been forced to fight by anybody else. Everyone on this planet, if given the opportunity, has a right to take part in whatever sport he or she wishes and therefore, it is a human right. Some may say that labelling boxing a ‘voluntary’ sport is perhaps too much of a simplistic view. However, I believe that this is not the case and it leads me to my next point.
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Boxing, in fact, offers many young men a way out of their deprived social background and presents them with an opportunity to use what skill they poses (even though it may not be academic) to make a life for themselves. If a person genuinely has a gift of strength and ability, then nobody has the right to stand in their way – effectively denying him a human right. In addition, straight from the moment a boxer steps into a ring, he is aware of the risks involved but is driven by the knowledge that the rewards he will gain are plentiful and prestigious.
All boxers obviously believe that the benefits of the ancient sport outweigh its negative aspects. This is shown in their willingness to take potentially high risks in order to reap the rewards of winning, or else they would not participate at all. Like all sports, there is an element of danger that we can freely decide whether or not to take part in.
Although boxing has some dangerous aspects, we have to remember that every sport carries some element of risk. Admittedly, boxing may be higher up the list than most, but it is by no means the worst. Last year, three men died as a result of injuries during a boxing match, whereas in show jumping, the fatality list was almost double that of boxing. This proves that the outcry from some quarters for a complete ban of boxing is outrageous and unprecedented. Other sports such as show jumping and motor racing carry far more risk but are not subject to the criticism that boxing receives.
After the shocking death of the great Ayrton Senna in motor racing, new safety measures were rightly put in place immediately. As in boxing, when any serious injuries or tragic events do occur, more safety measures are introduced and medics are available at ringside if needed, as an extra precaution. Safety helmets could be made a necessity for all boxers when fighting, helmets are already widely used throughout the world of boxing and could be made an essential piece of equipment that would enhance the fighter’s safety – thus reducing all injuries.
People do not realize how many professional and amateur fights take place each week in Britain, which goes virtually unnoticed for the simple reason that there are no injuries. Boxing has become a victim of its own success and because it is a hugely popular sport when tragic incidents do occur, there is more unwanted publicity surrounding the sport, thus giving boxing a bad reputation. People who have no involvement in boxing are not completely aware of the real risks and therefore do not have the right to make ill-informed judgements. A complete ban on boxing will never, and should never, be enforced. However, if a ban is applied the sport will inevitably be played illegally and more injuries would be inflicted.
Furthermore, as boxing is such a globally popular sport, there are many jobs to be lost if it was to be banned. The amount of money boxing generates is staggering, for example, the long-awaited fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson can potentially earn Brit Lewis, an overwhelming twenty-five million pounds – even if he loses. Like wealthy businessmen, top boxers are now earning vast amounts of money that they have worked hard for, by being dedicated and taking some risks. If boxing was to be criminalized, literally thousands of jobs linked with the boxing industry would be lost, creating many unneeded unemployment figures for our nation.
People like: managers, promoters, commentators, announcers, judges and the boxers themselves, would be forced to look for other ways of making money which is simply, very unnecessary. Millions tune in to their television sets worldwide when big bouts are being fought, and this public interest cannot be ignored by the authorities. Just as bullfighting is a big part of Spanish culture, (except more brutal) boxing is a massive part of our heritage. We cannot afford to make boxing illegal and I for one believe that everybody is entitled to rights and should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be involved in the sport.
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