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There will be those who point out – following the death of South African lightweight boxer Simiso Buthelezi this week – that fatalities in the sport are rare. And, even then, Buthelezi would have known about those slight risks.
The last footage of Buthelezi was, though, sad. It showed him staggering around the ring, trying to throw punches at the referee and not his opponent.
The fight was stopped instantly when that happened and he was taken to hospital and placed into an induced coma because of bleeding on the brain.
We can’t help but wonder, after this tragically unnecessary death, if the brutal blood sport of boxing is not an anachronism in the 21st century. Sure, it makes billions for the promoters and sponsors and occasionally helps lift youngsters out of abject poverty.
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But is it worth the risk to life or the risk of permanent brain damage? Boxing is popular because it speaks to a deep-seated voyeuristic blood lust among people, which probably is hard-wired from our days as cave dwellers.
Surely, though, we are beyond such primitive ways of being entertained? Apart from anything else, boxing is violence – and do we need even more violence in our beaten and abused society?