Should boxing be banned?

Yes, I think so. I may be prejudiced as a former wrestler, but it strikes me that damaging one's opponent is far too much an intrinsic property of boxing. There is indeed a purity to unarmed, hand-to-hand, struggle between two unarmed human beings with no ball, no team, few pads, and no objective other than subduing one's opponent. There is a kind of grace and beauty to boxing's movements. There is sublimity in its power. But there is also--intrinsically--violence. Too much of it, I think. I say other sports (like wrestling) possess boxing's virtues without its vices, or anyway far less of its vices.

I am a boxing trainer so I suppose that is my answer to your question. Boxing should be much more carefully regulated at the professional level of that there can be no doubt. But amateur boxing is quite safe and has been a lifesaver to many young people who are perhaps on the edge- and are often not involved in other sports. While the physical demands of wrestling and boxing are similar, ask anyone who has done both - boxing offers some different challenges. I argue in a forthcoming article in the NY TIMES (Philosophers Stone) that the sweet science provides some unique exercises in dealing with fear - and I think that can be incredibly valuable. Also, while there are of course exceptions, the objective in boxing is not to harm the other person - but instead just to win the contest.

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