You know how I know our socioeconomic system is perpetually screwed? Because boxing still exists. People with hope & options don’t box for a living. “Hi Mom, things are going great here at Harvard, I aced my Advanced Quantum Mechanics class and I got into Skull-and-Bones just like Dad–sorry, Mr. President. But I think I’m going to drop out and pursue boxing full time.”
“It’s the Sweet Science!” I don’t deny that it takes tremendous skill to box, but it doesn’t make poor people assaulting one another a science or sweet. Developing new flavors of Starburst is a sweet science. Developing the best strategy for inflicting a concussion on someone is more like strategic dickheadery.
Some proponents would point to the long, storied tradition of pugilism (such a nice, flowery word for minority cockfights). Tradition is an excuse, not a reason. (I wonder if there are any parallels I could draw here with other racist things being part of “tradition”…Nah, that’s crazy talk!) Nearly all royal families of all fiefdoms are heavily steeped in incest. Does that tradition mean it’s a good idea for siblings to procreate?
As a society, don’t we learn what is obviously barbaric treatment of people born of poverty? We don’t have Romanesque gladiator battles. We should be victimizing poor people through social policy, not through sport. Well, we shouldn’t be victimizing…you know what I meant.
People don’t willingly enter into a sport where you risk getting punched in the face repeatedly as a paycheck including all of the permanent face-and-brain damage unless they are thoroughly desperate to escape a dire situation.
I’m not talking about Mixed Martial Arts. I actually get MMA. I can get the urge to find out who is the best at physical combat. High school was/is predicated on who is the physically most dominant. And you have to know so many human-crippling techniques. Boxing is just punch-and-hug. It’s a simplistic pseudo-sport centered around the brutalization of the impoverished.
The victimization isn’t just in the ring, it’s people with a better understanding of accounting giving haymakers to the boxers bank account. It’s one of the few remaining sports where the athletes are the lowest paid people in an industry. The promoter, the league, the state boxing commission, the venue, the trainers, everybody around boxing is making more money than the boxers. Boxing is like the iPhone and the boxers are the kids in the sweatshop putting it together.
Aside from the horror of the situation, boxing is boring. I don’t know how you make two people punching each other boring, but they’ve figured it out. In a world where we have MMA, boxing is unnecessary. It’s like in a world of video games, do we expect children to still be enthralled playing roll the hoop with a stick? They rejected my idea of it being five people in the ring fighting at once.
As often as movies cheaply use boxing as a metaphor, boxing itself is and always has been a symbol of what the rich and powerful do to the lower classes. Just for fun, here’s a list of all the people who have died since boxing became a recognized sport. I didn’t even get into the insane sexism of “Ring Girls.”