Five months ago I went to see a British Lightweight Title fight at Altrincham Leisure Centre, near Manchester. There were several fights by less well known boxers on before the main fight. Why did I go to see it? I’m not sure really, maybe it had something to do with my preconceptions about boxing taking place over a violent, bloody confusing few minutes – after the scantily clad attractive ladies had walked around the ring holding their round cards;
fists would fly and then there would be two hurt men flopping themselves over ropes looking like they may be about to have their first heart attacks.
~ Towers and Mike Skierniewski prove their strength in the ring ~
Monte Cox – writer and sports historian, suggests that when it began as a public spectacle in the 18th century, there was no referee, no rounds and no time limit. It was a brutal affair with the object to fight until one man was finished. Bouts routinely lasted for hours and no tactic was forbidden including gouging, choking, throwing and kicking. No consideration was given to the weight of the fighter.
Oh – wow that sounds nice! So sure – ok, the sport has evolved to be safer – but it is still rumoured to on average, result in 14 deaths per year which is almost triple – that’s three times as much as the number of people that die from smoking every hour! Boxing must be stopped!!
~ This kid didn’t really look like he wanted to fight. He had a record of something like 2 wins, a few draws and 7 losses. He lost to Kid Galahad, with whom he was fighting ~
It took participants of the sport almost 100 years to figure out that boxers could also try and stop people from hitting them (see Mendoza), rather than just trying to pummel the hell out of other boxers. Fights used to last for forty one rounds, a display of sheer stamina – today they only last for four rounds of two minutes.
~ Randy Randall wins his fight against Abul Taher ~
After attending a Boxing event am I anymore convinced that boxing is indeed a refined and skilled sport that is as beautiful as the first baby lamb of Spring? No not really. I didn’t like the spectators. A lot of them appeared to be related or personally know one of the men fighting in the ring. They weren’t really screaming to support him. They seemed to have expressions on their faces and a worrying tone in their screams that suggested that they were indeed worried about the life of one of the boxers. That’s not nice to see on someones face, and neither is the expression of bloodcurdling lust and excitement that it released when the boxer that they know manages to hurt the other one.
But I don’t think I know enough to make a judgement about it. To that effect within the next 12 months I’m setting myself an aim to go and talk to and interview some boxers and see what happens inside a boxing club. Are there any groups out there that would be willing to let my camera and I film and interview inside the club? Please get in touch.