Editor's letter | Highlight 1 | Issue | Premium | Jul 30 2019

Why boxing must act now to save its future

Or boxing will reach the point of no return, writes Matt Christie
boxing
Dillian Whyte v Oscar Rivas  |  Dave Thompson

*This article is the subject of a legal complaint from Dillian Whyte

WHEN boxing behaves badly, as it has in the last fortnight, it screams its shortcomings to the world at a volume no other sport can reach. We cover our ears, and pretend it’s all nothing to do with us, but it gets harder and harder to ignore the noise in our heads.

The guilt we feel for being involved in such a dirty game is becoming almost too much to bear. And if you’re not feeling any responsibility, if you are happy to shrug your shoulders and insist none of it is your fault, then it’s likely the opposite is true. Because of course it’s your fault. We’re all to blame in some way for this glorified crime spree, for the pounding fists and the broken rules.

In the last fortnight we’ve seen two boxers lose their lives as a direct consequence of taking too many punches, another slip into a coma following a sparring session and, in the most high profile farce the sport has experienced in recent years, a leading heavyweight walk into the ring and defeat another just days after micro traces of epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone (metabolites of banned substance, dianabol) were found in his system. What kind of sport is this?

 

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