Boxing is a Societal Issue, Not a Sport

It’s been years since the alleged “Sport” of boxing has been as talked about and as newsworthy as it has been for the past few weeks, since the setting of the long-awaited bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. In today’s society of haves and have nots, with a disappearing middle class and extremes of wealth and privilege and lack of wealth or privilege at spectrum’s ends, and with a society where a sizable segment of political and religious leaders strongly believe that the first, last and only solution to

political problems is the taking up of arms, it is not surprising that the ancient activity of an audience of millions rejoicing as two human beings do the best they can to injure each other as seriously as possible has not yet withered and died away as a spectator sport, as it surely should have.
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I, for one, at one time was a fan. As a young kid during the late 1950s and early 1960s, I watched Thursday Night Fights on local Los Angeles TV, broadcast from the famous Olympic Auditorium, and described by legendary announcers, first DIck Lane, and then Dick Enberg. I went to fights with my father, to the other long-time LA fight venue, the Hollywood Legion. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, I attended the fight venue, viewing matches featuring such future professional fighters as Paul Gonzales, Tyrell Biggs, and Pernell Whitaker. But that was a long time ago, and its been a long time since I could last stand the sight of such “sport”, of two people beating the crap out of each other, as thousands cheer for more blows, more blood, more brain damage.

But with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, another over-riding issue is ever-present, though most involved, certainly those who run the business of boxing and the business of promoting and broadcasting boxing, have chosen to ignore its very existence. That issue is

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Floyd Mayweather and his disgusting record of domestic violence. Mayweather has been convicted five times (though one was subsequently overturned on appeal) of domestic violence, yet he has never once been sanctioned by any regulatory body in the alleged "Sport", and he continues to make millions and millions of dollars punching opponents as he has in the past
punched girlfriends and the mothers of his children.

Last Friday, Keith Olbermann did an amazing commentary on his ESPN2 program in which he thoroughly criticized the NFL for its absurd reactions to domestic abuse, calling for a boycott of the upcoming draft, due to the record and character of probable first pick Jameis Winston, and in which he spent the bulk of his time calling for a similar boycott of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, due to Mayweather’s record of domestic abuse and the lack of action by licensing authorities. In the commentary, Mayweather’s record is laid out in detail. See it all here:

I will certainly not watch the fight, though I hope to hear afterward that Mayweather was thoroughly beaten by Pacquiao, just as so many women have been at the lethal hands of Floyd Mayweather.

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