Boxing Is Vile

By Barnes, Simon | The Spectator, July 5, 1997 | Go to article overview

Boxing Is Vile


Barnes, Simon, The Spectator


I HAVE a bad reputation. Years ago, after I had covered a fight in Atlantic City, the rumour went around the press corps that I had hidden for the duration of the punchup beneath my desk. Subsequently, the Observer ran a piece that fell short of perpetrating this falsehood, but called me 'a somewhat sensitive soul'.

Well, not being a somewhat insensitive soul, I found the spectacle of two giants trying to cause each other permanent brain damage with lethal weapons - that is to say, padded fists - rather unpleasant. I have always taken an abolitionist line on boxing it is not so much a sport as a public death duel - and have said as much in print.

But now I find roles reversed. Hardened boxing writers, hard-eyed, non-abolitionist chief sports writers are suddenly behaving like swooning virgins after the proceedings at the weekend when Mike Tyson bit a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear during a heavyweight championship fight.

Demeaning and disgusting, said one. An indelible stain on boxing, said another. A funereal night for boxing, added a third. Speaking for myself, I would far sooner be van Goghed than concussed. I have managed the second feat on two occasions in my glorious sporting career, once when heading a cricket ball a good 20 yards, and again when making a graceful headfirst dismount from a galloping thoroughbred.

An ear is only an ear, after all. But the brain - well, in the immortal words of Woody Allen, it's my second favourite organ. (I once quoted that to a young lady I rather admired, and she responded with admirable coldness, `It's my favourite.' But that is by the by.)

You can't get more disgusting than disgusting, and professional boxing is already disgusting. You can't bring something into disrepute if it is already utterly disreputable. Boxing is vile: it is supposed to be. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Boxing Is Vile
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.