The great sportswriter Budd Schulberg once remarked, "As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it." Boxing is a rough sport, which may explain why it is used so often as a metaphor for life. It requires being able to move forward, take blows, and rise from the canvas. It demands acute self-awareness and respect for others.
I know that the young fighters I've trained would say that they've learned a lot about life while in the ring. The question is whether those lessons will still be available to them a few years from now.
In late August, the American Academy of Pediatrics threw a haymaker at the sport of boxing. In a position statement, the doctors' group fell just short of recommending that boxing be banned for children and teenagers: "Amateur boxers are at serious risk of face and brain injuries, including concussion. Children's brains are more vulnerable to concussion, and recovery takes longer than for adults."