Monday, November 16, 2009

Much more about getting hurt

This weekend had one of the world's greatest boxer's ever, Manny Pacquiao against a decent opponent, Miguel Cotto. I was able to enjoy the bout at a friend's house along with a few other people from the gym. The host and my boxing trainer got into a lively debate about celebrated pugilists, arguing back and forth who was the best, which fight was the best, which era etc. The lively conversation had me lost in the woods.
One of the bouts they mentioned was the bout between Gerald Mccellan and Nigel Benn. Mccellan knocked Benn out of the ring in the first round, and the floored boxer was pushed back into the pit by ringside officials, and newspaper reporters. Benn went onto win the fight punishing Mccellan with sharp hard hands. Those blows would send Mccellan into a coma for two weeks and the boxer would end up with severe brain damage.

This short interview with him is worth watching. Unlike most sports boxing has always had the threat of death looming over it. It is the only sport where inflicting pain is the goal. While giving is a huge part, the inevitable fact is that the sport is far more about receiving blows than it is about giving them. That said I don't think the sweet science is something that should be avoided, even with its drawbacks, its damages, and its risk, the game invokes people to rise above themselves, an otherwise mundane person can become a hero in the ring for a few minutes.

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