Letter: The noble art

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The Independent Culture

The noble art

Sir: In his fascinating contribution about bare-knuckle boxing ("Last king of the knuckle brigade", 1 August) Clive Gammon condemns it thus: "a bare-knuckle fight of the barbaric kind that has been illegal since the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861". But the irony is that (illegal) bare-knuckle boxing is much safer than the (legal) sport with gloves.

An average heavy-weight boxer's gloved fist delivers a blow which is equivalent to half a ton travelling at 20 mph. And it is known that every heavy blow causes localised damage to the surface of the brain as it moves to and fro inside the skull. There is only one way to make boxing safer while retaining its appeal and that is to remove the gloves and return to bare-knuckle boxing. The power of the fighters' blows will automatically be reduced to avoid breaking the bones of their hands.


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