by Alex Poletti
In a tragic week for boxing, two fighters died as a result of injuries sustained during fights. These latest tragedies have reopened the debate on whether publicly beating the shit out of another person is a safe sport.
“In light of recent occurrences, we still believe that boxing is a safe athletic endeavor for all involved,” World Boxing Organization president Francisco Varcarcel says. “Why anyone would think two people going head to head in an event designed after a death match would be dangerous is beyond me.”
Despite Varcarcel’s ironclad defense, the conversation about boxing safety has remained active following the death of junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev. Even though the boxer was in great shape, one punch was enough to unfortunately end his life.
“He did everything right in training,” Dadashev’s trainer, Buddy McGirt says. “We practiced everything. One punch is all it takes though, that’s the kind of sport we’re in.”
While some may see McGirt’s comment as a resignation to boxing realities, others interpret those words as a questioning of the sport’s concept. The Second String asked passersby on the street about their thoughts.
“One punch is all it takes? That’s kind of fucked up,” local man Trevor Mahoney says. “I mean, I don’t know, maybe we shouldn’t pay people to completely eviscerate each other in the ring. Doesn’t that seem like a bad idea, just from an insurance standpoint?”
While Mahoney’s points are well taken, others subscribe to a more cynical viewpoint; if a boxer goes into the ring, he assumes the risk of what may happen, even if the outcome is more morbid than one may expect.
“The way I see it, boxing is like getting into a car,” a grey-haired gentleman by the name of Tom Carney says. “If you get into a car, you know there’s a chance of getting into an accident. So if another guy hits you with his car, that’s kind of your fault.”
It should be noted that Carney has seven hit-and-run cases pending in superior court. From the multitude of street interviews conducted by The Second String staff, it seems that public opinion is still split on the issue. Whether watching two men punch each other to the point of near death for entertainment lies in a moral grey area is still very much up for debate, and it doesn’t look like our society will be reaching a conclusion any time soon. Our hearts go out to the families of Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Alfredo “Dinamita” Santillan, who both died as a result of injuries sustained in the ring.