EVER SINCE I began reporting sport for radio, I've been hearing about and discussing the possibilities of professional boxing being banned. Now, in 1984, the British Medical Association is making louder noises than it ever made in the fifties and sixties. Not only does it want professional boxing banned but amateur as well.
I don't beliece they've a snowball's chance in summer of achieving this. So long as Jones junior and freckles Murphy continue to go behind the bicycle shed to establish fistick superiority one over the other then so long will boxing continue as an organised sport, underground or overground.
It seems a weak argument to point out that some 340 boxers around the world have died since the last war from injuries sustained in the ring. It's a better one to point out the blindness or the near-blindness, the brain damage. It's better still to cite the brutalising of the spectator and the ruthless greed of the promoter.
On the latter two counts, I sometimes can't see much difference between boxing and motor racing and a fig for the argument that they are doing it for my future safety. I feel the good doctors would be better off continuing to improve on the ways of making boxing safer and aiming for faster recognition, of damage, (not only following public bouts but in the course of training) and an immediate removal from the sport of any boxer showing even the slightest sign of danger.
Boxing has given me more pleasure than many things in life. the sport itself, the people it attracts, the literature it inspires so much so that I find it impossible to be frank and fair. I will say this. I'm glad my son didn't take it up.