• Keith Jung

Boxing Regulations : Controlled or Barbaric?

On a warm summer night in 1997, two goliaths of men stand opposite in a ring. The lights are beaming, the crowd is roaring, and one of the most brutal matches in history is about to begin. Violence has always existed on Earth even since the beginning of time, to many (at least many males) is seen as fun and exciting to both watch and do. This eventually led to the creation of boxing, a regulated sport meant for slugging it out in a ring. However, despite being very regulated and popular, boxing continues to have countless accidents, calling for the need to be more enforced.

Boxing throughout its long history, has had several different changes due to its violent nature in order to keep it civilized enough. Professional boxing started 688BC but could’ve been as early as the 3rd millennium BC BCE at the time of the Babylonians. Over time, more regulations were applied to make it safer but it still was, for a very long time, a more obscure sport only really getting popular in the 1900s. Boxing was especially popular in the US, brought in from England in the 1700s it spread along the east coast. In the 1920s and 30s it completely took over America, establishing itself as a prominent and respected sport.

The solution to all the accidents and horrendous injuries from boxing is not black and white. Boxing regulations and rules are already fair and when followed keep a brutal fighting sport as civilized as possible, however sometimes these rules are ignored or not enough to stop accidents and other bad things from happening. However, doing nothing will also mean that the continued mortalities and constant injuries will continue. The best option is to reinforce the simple but effective rules already in place to a much stricter degree so people will become less likely to become carried away and make accidents. This can keep the simple rules of boxing and the action filled, excitingness of the sport, whilst limiting the dangers and negatives of boxing. Boxing will always remain a violent and dangerous sport, but strictly maintaining the rules will create an overall much safer and civilized environment that can additionally open up to many more types of people. Adding more regulation and rules into boxing is not as simple of a solution as it seems though. Boxing regulations and rules are fair and when followed keep a brutal fighting sport as civilized as possible, however sometimes these rules are ignored or not enough to stop accidents and other bad things from happening. However, doing nothing will also mean that the continued mortalities and constant injuries will continue.

The majority of safety rules and regulations were only added recently with padded gloves being added to professional boxing in 1892. Professional boxing rules are fairly straightforward, 2 opponents start in opposite corners of a 18 by 22 feet ring with ropes acting as the “walls.” The game lasts for 15 rounds, each round being 3 minutes long or until a player is KO’d (knocked out, or unconscious). Some of the safety rules are that all strikes must be made by either of 2 wrapped and gloved hands, and must be above the waist. Additionally, liver strikes are banned and strikes to the back of the head and neck are also banned, and hitting an opponent while down is also not allowed. These rules show that boxing, rules as written is a “chivalrous” sport and quite contained for a sport that revolves around 2 people fighting, trying to knock each other out cold.

Boxing, however, does have quite a history of straying away from those rules sometimes. In the heat of a fight, many boxers tend to forget these rules or are carried away, or more likely, accidents can happen which can lead all the way up from serious permanent damage like deafness in the case of Gerald McClellan, or even death like Tony Marino. This makes boxing a very hard sport to regulate as fighting is the whole point of the game, but drawing the line where “too violent” is very difficult. An example of how barbaric boxing can be when things get out of hand is the story mentioned earlier about a midsummer fight in 1997. Mike Tyson, world renowned boxer, ended up biting and tearing Evander Holyfield’s ear off in a gory and gruesome scene. Previously mentioned Gerald McClellan was paralyzed from the neck down and lost his hearing after a brutal match in the ring. At the time he seemed fine (for a boxer) but later was in the hospital for 2 weeks almost dying.

Overall, boxing should certainly be regulated more, but remains one of the most popular and loved sports in the world. It might seem very dangerous and violent, but with more rules being added, the sport is becoming a lot safer, making it a very worthwhile tradeoff for entertainment value. My first injury was when I got punched right in the face and got a cut along my forehead like I was asian Harry Potter. It was really nothing and most injuries in boxing will be minor and heal in a couple weeks max. Personally I find it extremely fun because fighting gives me the adrenaline rushes that I love. When I got hit and cut, I didn’t even feel the pain and kept going with a lot more courage than before. However during my sparring matches, I can also get carried away. It’s hard to tell just how much damage you did to someone in the heat of the moment. In my experience boxing has always been a fun and exciting way to burn off energy and stress while getting a really good workout.



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