Pro: Encourages discipline and discourages street fighting

Gloves help people to not injure themselves completely. They act as a cushion to your hand and they displace the area of damage during a friendly bout. When you fight in a safe environment, such as the UW boxing club, there are no enemies. You get to know your opponents and work with what they need so that they can improve. Those who are better than average take it just easy enough for the opponent not to get injured but hard enough to punish the mistakes that they may make. This manner of training, one person having the ability to hold a punch and the other person having the choice to stop whenever they want, helps people become strong of will.

Most importantly, you should not forget that it’s a sport you’re playing.

Consider this video. Prince was an athlete who took his training so seriously that he was able to just have fun in the ring. A man who dedicates himself to the sport so fully would not want to risk all of his efforts on a street fight where anything could happen.

Con: Attacking people in the ring can promote violence

It is true that while it is a sport, you are still actively choosing to harm another human being. 

Mike Tyson, a boxer well known for his animosity in the ring, is a prime example of how being molded by boxing can lead a person down the path of violence outside of the ring. He changed boxing because of how often his goal was to incapacitate his opponents. He tried his hardest to knock out everyone he faced. People could stop feeling safe knowing that there is someone who understands how to cause serious harm to them.

Pro: The goal is not to knock someone out

Charlie Mohr was a boxer here at UW Madison. He was an amateur fighter that lived and breathed honor. He was the person who would never take advantage of finishing the match when he had the opportunity because of the fear of injuring his opponent. My point with bringing up Mohr is that it is not because of the sport that makes people violent. People who are violent will continue to be violent whether or not they discover boxing.

To restate the positive, boxing was not created as a medium to knock people out. There is a system where people earn points by getting hits, by dodging correctly, by showing off to the judges their skill, and lastly by how often they play fair. Referencing a recent fight that people were disappointed by, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather did not do that much damage to each other. The most damage they did was the damage to their legs from running for so long. It was a very technical fight on the professional level and it was understood that that would be the outcome. People like Tyson do exist but he was a rarity because of his intensity and his continuous desire to seek out his opponent instead of waiting for them to stay put.

Con: 488 people have died within the last 60 years in the ring

            The goal may not be to knock someone out, yet many people have died in boxing! Charlie Mohr died himself because of a blow to the head during a fighting match which was the reason for starting the death count in 1960. Yes it may be safe for many people but there are people who come in with a loose nerve or blood vessel that can be severely injured if they are unaware of their condition. 488 people could have lived for years at least without this sport because of the lack of physical punishment they would receive per match.

Once more, the goal is not to knock someone out, but those who are considered great were not the light hearted hitters.

They were people who made the opponent incapable of fighting. People who strive to reach professional level cannot be the best unless they work hard to incapacitate the people they go up against. That is not a healthy goal to try and reach.

Pro: Aware of the risks going in

            The professional level is the most dangerous level, I agree. However people who get to that level do it because they want to be there. It isn’t wrong when you say the same thing for other sports. People die in Football and get severely injured in Hockey. Professionals who give too many headers to soccer balls also will risk a small chance on their cognitive function to play the sport that they love with people who can test their skill. I am not saying it’s encouraged to go that level, but if you enter the ring, even once, be aware that the fighters know they are going to get hit and are aware of what could happen. The good thing in all of this is that the things that could happen are very rare.

Con: You may not necessarily die but you can reach severe brain injuries on the professional level

People like Muhammad Ali and Tyson have reached a level where they’ve gotten hit so many times that their brains work nothing like they would without the toll their heads took. It may seem safe, but if it can get that bad over time, there definitely must be damage done for every single match you experience. Going off of that, the damage done may be rare but it is an awful thing to experience.


Video 1: Prince vs Donello. A fight which is regarded highly because of how skillful Prince was with his movement. (No sound)

Video 2: Mike Tyson steamrolling through his opponent, hoping to land the one hit he needs to end the match (No sound)

Video 3: It isn’t boxing, but there is boxing involved. It goes along with the idea that the winners play with an iron fist and take advantage of them to conquer opponents.

Video 4/5: This last video (fighting starts at 0:21 seconds) is just for me to emphasize what is key to the upper level boxers. It isn’t necessarily how hard they hit, it’s the flair that will get them to appeal to the judges. The defensive style is to undermine the hard work your opponent is giving off only so you can best them with what seems to be no effort.


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