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Should Boxing Be Banned? 5 Reasons For & 5 Reasons Against

Since 1987, the British Medical Association has been campaigning for the ban on professional boxing due to the severe injuries participants sustain. The World Medical Association couldn’t agree more; they describe boxing as a sport where the main objective is to cause “bodily harm in the opponent”, especially to the brain. With that being said, the question remains to be answered; should boxing be banned?

According to the proponents of banning the sport, boxing should be banned because of the deadly nature of the sport, as well as the long-term damages that it causes to boxers’ brains. However, opponents of the ban say that other sports can have deadly results too. 


5 reasons FOR:5 reasons AGAINST:
1.Boxing Is a Deadly Sport.Other Sports Are Also Deadly.
2.Boxing Causes Long-Lasting Brain Damage.Football and Other Sports Cause Brain Damage Too.
3.Boxing Glamorizes and Promotes Violence.Wrestling, MMA, and Other Combat Sports Glamorize Violence Too.
4.Boxers Are Often Exploited Financially.Several Sports Attract Financial Exploitation.
5.Banning Professional Boxing Would Keep People Safer.If Banned, Boxing Would Go “Underground” With Fewer Regulations.

Why should there be a ban on boxing? Let’s take a look at reasons for and against the ban.

For #1: Boxing Is a Deadly Sport.

Boxing is one of the few sports where a participant’s main objective is to knock an opponent down and disable them; for the entertainment of others. People have died in the ring and outside the ring due to this deadly sport. In 2019, World Boxing Council Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder said in an interview that it’s still legal to kill a man and get paid for it through boxing. 

Even when compared to MMA, boxing is still more dangerous due to the severe injuries that it causes to its athletes. It can be argued that boxing brings out the most aggressive tendencies in people and creates more violence in a world that is already violent.

Against #1: Other Sports Are Also Deadly.

But, if there is to be a ban on boxing due to its deadly nature, should there not be a ban on wrestling? Mixed martial arts? What about a ban on hockey, football, or kickboxing? Contact and combat sports have always had some participation risk, and the competitors signing up for these sports know the risk. Aggression is a part of human nature and needs an outlet for its expression without causing trauma to unsuspecting people. 

For #2: Boxing Causes Long-Lasting Brain Damage.

Medical critics claim that boxing causes long-term brain damage, including residual concussive symptoms, behavior problems, and susceptibility to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Doctors believe that these injuries and conditions would be prevented should boxing be banned. Not too many professional boxers retire without any brain injuries, and many have a decreased quality of life because of them. 

Against #2: Football and Other Sports Cause Brain Damage Too.

Brain damage occurs in several contact sport, like football, as well as other risky activities such as riding a motorcycle, horse racing, skydiving, climbing a mountain. According to the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, the risks for fatal brain injuries are lower in boxing than in many other sports, like horse and motorcycle racing, sky diving, among others. 

If boxing were banned, according to the doctors’ warnings, would that mean all other contact sports and recreational activities, with a similar risk of serious head injuries, should be banned? 

For #3: Boxing Glamorizes and Promotes Violence.

Critics of all combat sports, including boxing, claim that violence is glamorized and promoted through these sports. Boxing is often number one on the list, as the objective is to literally knock-out an opponent (mainly by throwing hard blows to the head) to win the match. For instance, Mike Tyson, one of the most celebrated professional boxers in recent history, took that violence outside of the ring in a variety of ways. 

Against #3: Wrestling, MMA, and Other Combat Sports Glamorize Violence Too.

If boxing should be banned for glamorizing violence, then other combat sports should be banned, including wrestling and kickboxing. All combat sports can be violent in the ring, but do they promote violence outside of the ring? When properly trained, participants in combat sports are disciplined and rational when outside of the ring. They learn to respect themselves and others, and only use their skills when competing, or when necessary.

For #4: Boxers Are Often Exploited Financially.

For instance, in the mid-20th-century, crime syndicates routinely forced boxers (who often were/are from poor backgrounds) to throw matches to win money on the outcomes of the games. If the fighters refused to comply, they were prohibited from fighting for title matches. More recently, champions are forced to pay substantial sanction fees to defend their titles, or, in some cases, fighters are not paid what their contracts stipulate.

Against #4: Several Sports Attract Financial Exploitation.

Professional sports are a hotbed of gambling activity, scandals, and financial exploitation of the players. For example, MLB requires its players to attend spring training sessions, but will not pay them to train for a month and a half until the regular season starts. Other sports, like football or basketball (even at a college level), have also experience permissible exploitation to their athletes. Therefore, if boxing were banned based on financial exploitation, should other pro sports be banned as well?

For #5: Banning Professional Boxing Would Keep People Safer.

Professional boxing creates violence and makes its participants prone to abuse. Therefore, a ban on boxing would keep participants and fans safer. Placing a ban on boxing might be a good first step to decrease violent content in the media, and therefore, in our society. It could be argued that people would be less likely to participate in violence if they don’t see it on TV or in movies. 

Against #5: If Banned, Boxing Would Go “Underground” With Fewer Regulations.

Throughout history, anything that was banned or made illegal went “underground” with little to no regulations to make it safe. If professional boxing was banned, there would still be people who would participate in it. But there would be no regulations, and more people would get hurt. Fights would become more dangerous, safety gear would be ignored, and people would take that into the streets without the proper training and discipline. A boxing ban would increase violence, not decrease it. 


Violent sports have always been a part of the world history and culture, and it may not change anytime soon, in spite of what the critics are fighting for. 

Humans have a unique personality trait that propels them to watch violent things happen, such as a car wreck, combat sports, or violent movies and TV shows. While they may want to watch that, they don’t necessarily want it in their own lives. Banning boxing may or may not decrease the violence, but that won’t stop people from finding other violent things to watch or do.

In the end, maybe a ban on boxing is not what is needed. Maybe better working conditions or safety measures need to be placed on the sport instead of an outright ban.