Saturday, September 08, 2007

Boxing Clever.

The British Medical Association has long campaigned to ban boxing for reasons I fully understand although don't endorse. Unlike other sports where serious injuries can occur when something goes wrong, the actual purpose in Boxing is to cause a brain injury severe enough to stop someone walking for a few seconds, catastrophic injuries occur when things go too well not when things go horribly wrong. In my view consenting adults should be free to box (although I personally went off watching it after the Nigel Benn- Gerald McClellan fight, which was brilliant but left the loser brain damaged and in need of 24 hour a day care for the duration of his life.) but I have a lot of sympathy with the BMA's position.

However their latest announcement is rather less compelling, they have added the famously violent Ultimate Fighting to their list of combat sports they want banned because:
It takes boxing one step further because of its 'no holds barred' approach.
This is true, but misses the point, boxing is particularly risky because the rules are designed so that the competitors compete by landing blows to the head. In the absence of these rules landing clear hits on the head is more difficult, so the 'no holds barred' approach isn't taking boxing to new extremes but making a safer activity.

The BMA may still feel that it is too dangerous to be legal, but should not make out that it is worse than what is currently legal.

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