|Bailey poses as tough guy - voters delivered knock out blow|
Sadly our police also seem to like the idea, believing that getting young lads to try and punch each other repeatedly in the head will lead them to be less, er, likely to, you know, punch other people in the head.
I've often wondered at the wisdom of this - from a health point of view since the vast majority of doctors believe that boxing is a profoundly dangerous activity - but also the logic, which seems to be completely daft.
The British Medical Association states that injuries caused by boxing include:
- Brain damage - the blows received during boxing cause the brain to move within the skull, damaging blood vessels, nerves and brain tissue.
- Acute brain haemorrhage - this is the lead cause of boxing deaths.
- Eye, ear and nose damage - in some cases boxing causes permanent sight and hearing loss.
Last time I raised it publicly on Twitter, following a Chronicle report eulogising a Shepherd's Bush school Burlington Danes, for encouraging the activity I was told by a councillor that the young lads needed a route to channel their aggression. The Fulham Chronicle, as with so many things, was in full support of the Council, lavishly praising the "art and discipline" of boxing at the school.
I don't accept that logic, what about teaching young lads self control instead? I'd say that's a harder skill than punching someone. And I've seen some pretty tough lads in pretty tough places. But even if it was true what's wrong with other martial arts that doctors say are less dangerous and involve just as much physical discipline, if not more? Karate, anyone?
The answer I suggest, is that some of our politicians think that boxing is just, well, a bit sexy. And they might be hoping a bit of the tough guy stuff might rub off on their image too. Which is nearly as sad as what we saw last night in Munich. Here's the sport of boxing showing us all how their 'art and discipline' teaches young men not to punch each other in the head:
1330 UPDATE - Well, that sparked some interesting reactions! Cllr Greg Smith, who I have a lot of time for, clearly thinks I am a bit of a wet liberal who wants people to live in a "bubble wrapped world". We don't, he informs me, before suggesting that my logic implies that I shouldn't want crossing the road to be a legal activity.
No, I couldn't either.
Others have also disagreed, but more coherently, with the argument that sport is sport and it teaches discipline while one commentator on twitter said that boxing meant young men didn't have to prove themselves on the street so may fight less.
Completely respect these points of view but I still can't see what is so special about boxing. In fact, thinking about it more, what might be the other consequences of teaching young boys to "prove themselves" by fighting each other in the ring? I wonder, for example, how that links to their relationships with women and others who can't fight back.
In the meantime Derek Chisora has been arrested by the German police, presumably after threatening to "shoot and burn" David Haye. Mr Haye is likely to have his collar felt too, not least for proving his self restraint by throwing a camera tripod at someone's head. And it'll all be reenacted in the playgrounds tomorrow.