In Defense of Boxing

The New York Times barely covers professional boxing. Nevertheless, on Sunday, March 28, the newspaper of record ran two long-form boxing stories. One, “In Everybody’s Corner” is a tale of empowerment and covers Toronto’s Newsgirls Boxing Club. The Club is a refuge for hundreds of transgender people. The other story, “Fight," is a tragic tale about a debut professional contest in Youngstown, Ohio, between Anthony Taylor and Hamzah Aljahmi. Taylor won, and the nineteen-year-old Aljahmi was sent to his grave from the hurricane blows that swept over him in twelve minutes of non-stop action. Dan Barry, author of “The Fight,” fully frames the depth of character and promise of the combatants. He also presents an accurate account of the hard life at the first rung of the professional-boxing ladder.


Laudably, Barry does not tell his audience what to think about the ring death; however, readers were quick to announce their conclusions. One wrote, “Sanctioned, commercialized assault leads to a death. Tragic, though not unusual or surprising as those involved claim. A civilized society would ban it.” Another moralizes, “Two men entering a ring for a fight is wrong.” Still another chimes in, “I hope the cavemen sports such as boxing, professional and caged wrestling, together with American football will soon be banished to prevent further damage to the athletes and rein in our primitive tribal instincts displayed at the sport arenas and ball parks.”


Read the rest: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/defense-boxing