I watched boxing on TV recently. A friend was coming over and he wanted to see it. I haven’t watched boxing since Muhammed Ali quit fighting. Having not seen it in so long helped me to see the changes that have occurred.
They don’t wear their bathrobes to the ring any more. I guess they like t-shirts better. And I had to wait a long time to watch the main event. There was a lot more money riding on the event. I would have been happy to have been the loser in this fight. I would be more than willing to step into that ring and have people whisper “My God, that’s an old man.” And I would just wait for the other guy’s glove to twitch, and then I would fall to the canvas. Fight’s over. You win. Where’s my money? And I think I could get away with it because I’m old.
The most powerful images stuck in my mind are from watching slow motion boxing in high definition. I’ve never seen it that way. Nothing like watching blunt force trauma to the brain. It gets pretty obvious. I don’t think I like boxing as much as I used to. And I’d want to be sure I was getting my money without getting hit. Anywhere.
My conservative friends may climb all over me for this one, and I need to reassure them that I’m not joining any anti-boxing organizations, and I’m likely to be right there on the sofa beside you watching the next fight. But we all need to watch that slow-mo high def brain trauma and ask why we do this to ourselves. Men (and I speak only of men here because I don’t understand women) are instinctive warriors, aren’t they? If we don’t have war, we invent war, just to stay in shape and pretend war. We are walking, talking G.I. Joes. I think it’s something we need. Women make war too, but their war is treacherous. You never see it coming and if I write much more, I won’t see it coming either.
We’ve banned dogfighting and cockfighting. I like dogs, so I tend to agree with that. Chickens are nothing more to me than arrogant food, so I’m ambivalent there. So why do we box, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars? I guess we don’t want chickens to make that kind of cash.
The argument might be that dogs and chickens get no say in the matter and that, in theory, humans know what they’re doing.