The real reason the nanny state mentality hates boxing
BOXING great Mike Tyson famously said "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face", and for those who have read and agree with Peter FitzSimons' column last week in The Sydney Morning Herald, Tyson's saying could not be more relevant.
FitzSimons, a former Wallaby and outstanding sports journalist, called for the sport of boxing to re-form, citing brain injury and the potential for medical disaster as his main area of concern.
Muhammad Ali was the embodiment of what could happen to the human form if time on a career where you get hit in the head for a living went for too long.
The UFC is another example of a brutal contact sport that has seen its fair share of horrific injuries.
As far as I know, the risk of injury is one of the main reasons calls for Fred Brophy's boxing troupe to shut down have been so prominent.
But... who are we to tell these athletes about the risks they face?
Are they not consenting adults?
Why do we have to always endorse this nanny state mentality, which takes away the choice of people who want to compete.
If we explore the reasons why boxers do what they do, if we took the time to actually get to know them, we would see that for the majority of them fighting is not a sport, it is a way of life.
The public has this misconception that boxers are thugs who get paid millions of dollars to smack someone around for a couple of rounds before driving off in a Bentley with a trophy wife and Rolex.
I can tell you, knowing several personally, that this could not be further from the truth.
If you have a look at where the most prominent fighters in the world come from you can see, in more cases than not, a common theme.
They come from places of hardship, struggle and adversity.
Parts of the world where you either fight or you die. It sounds confronting but it is true.
In Australia we are so quick to view issues from our first world perspective that we do not take into account the reason why sports like boxing exist.
The solution is simple - if you do not want to step in the ring, then don't.
If you have concerns that getting punched in the face may have a detrimental effect on your health, then take up another sport.
No one is forcing these guys to fight for money.
We want our children to be active, fit and prepared for the world, but we are so quick to modify our environment we take that chance away from them.
To eradicate boxing is to make a vital part of our sporting fabric extinct.
So in the meantime, let the fight go on.