THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BOXING
"And good riddance" will be the silent reaction shared by many to The End of College Boxing (SI, April 25).
"What, are you mad, dear reader?" I can hear Martin Kane proclaim. "Bring an end to this noble sport and exercise?"
My answer is a thinking man's "Why not?"
The ultimate aim of boxing—whether as it was practiced by the ancient Greeks with cestus-protected hands, by the Romans in their Colosseum games or by the well-padded collegians—is the physical destruction of another human being. The degree of destruction may run from simple exhaustion on the part of two small Navy tikes to the death of Charlie Mohr.
How about other body-contact sports? Don't they inflict physical injury and death too? True, but the difference is that in no other popular sport is the ultimate objective the destruction of the opponent in order to be declared the winner.
Perhaps what I am really trying to say is that boxing more than any other contest between human beings runs counter to the tenets of Christianity and moral theology.
Sissy attitude? As a high school and collegiate participant ( Kansas State University) in football, basketball and track, I appreciate the thrill and manliness of competitive body-contact sports. But boxing? Let it lie there. It deserves an ignoble death.
I fervently hope for the end of college boxing as a step toward the complete abolishment of boxing.
I, too, have thrilled to the beauty of such a skilled performer as Ray Robinson and the deadly explosive power of a Joe Louis. However, boxing's attributes of skill, stamina, courage and conditioning can be found in any contact sport.
HERBERT M. MAISTELMAN
I hope the critics of college boxing read Martin Kane's article with a searching and dispassionate mind.