Boxing is not exclusive for the poor

Por 12/07/2013

Boxing has always been a sport that arouses passions, ignites controversy like everything, but many people believe that it only attracts fans from the lowest social backgrounds or people with low education level. I differ on this.

Names like Nelson Mandela, Frank Sinatra and even Adolf Hitler himself are in the list of the biggest boxing lovers.

For example, in his book “My Struggle” Hitler talks about the sport as an important part of educational development. “There is a sport that has to be encouraged, although, many who called themselves conservative consider it as brutal and vulgar, and that is boxing.”

Hitler loved boxing; he regarded it as natural and respectable.  “It is not more vulgar that two men settle out their differences with their fists instead of with two sharp pieces of steel.”

Moreover, a kinder and beloved person, Fran Sinatra, son of a boxer was always linked to the sport. During his years in Las Vegas, he made the Caesars Palace his home in every fight he made.

It is said that he was a true connoisseur of the sport; he was able to make criticisms and analysis of any fight as an expert. He was a friend of many of the famous boxers of the time, and it was said that he was rejected by other artists on several occasions for his friendship with boxers.

On several occasions he would see them training, even before important fights. Journalists, cameras and photographers concentrate on him rather than on the boxers who although they were champions, went into the background.

He never was a normal fan, like you or me, but he enjoyed the fights, the champions like any of us.

Another great boxing fan is Nelson Mandela, who has been battling like a real champion for his own life.

Mandela makes it clear in his biography, Long Walk to Freedom.  He says that during his hard years of struggle, he practiced boxing to distract himself.

He explains that when he boxed in the Orlando Donaldson Community Centre Gym, it had no equipment: “we did not have ring and we trained on cement that was dangerous especially when a boxer was knocked out. We had a sack and a few pairs of gloves. We did not have any medicine, neither trunks nor appropriate shoes or mouth guards”.

He recalls that, “I was not an outstanding bower.  I was a heavyweight and did not have enough power to compensate my lack of speed, nor did have the speed to compensate my lack of power.”

To close this blog, I leave you Mandela’s outstanding phrase regarding boxing, “”Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant. When you are circling around your opponent, testing his strengths and weaknesses, you do not think about his skin color or social status”.

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