Love itOf course there are things about boxing no one can like, much less love: The repetitive soft blows that essentially administer brain damage one punch at a time, or the waves of corruption that relegate the sport to a joke.
But my love and respect for boxing go back to an article I read at ESPN.com about 15 years ago. They called it “Ultimate Degree of Difficulty Grid,” and ranked virtually every sport out there from fishing to gymnastics to tennis, baseball, and bull riding on 10 categories that feed into athleticism like endurance, strength, speed, and hand/eye coordination. They talked to sports scientists from the United States Olympic Committee, sports journalists, academics who study muscle and movement, as well as two-sport athletes themselves. After each sport was ranked, they totaled the scores to come up with each sport’s overall degree of difficulty.
No. 1? Boxing. Though it only ranked most difficult when it comes to durability, boxing ranked near the top in categories like endurance, strength, power, nerve, and hand-eye coordination.
I’m not the biggest fan of boxing, but knowing how difficult it is to be a boxer makes me love the sport and watch it in a way I never did before.
The second most difficult sport? Ice hockey, followed by football. The least difficult sport? Fishing. I hate fishing.
David HolubHate it I am an effing sap. I don’t know how or when that happened, but apparently somewhere deep inside me there is a nice lady. The kind old crone digging outta my bones doesn’t like the whap of a fist connecting to a face.
I have an aversion to fighting. I have been hit in the face. I have broken up bar fights. I don’t like fisticuffs in real life or my entertainment, and so I don’t like boxing.
I don’t mind gore. Horror is fulla blood and bones breaking, and I adore the genre, but boxing – boxing is brutal. It is a real person receiving head trauma. That is not corn syrup blood running down their brow, it’s real. There’s something too ancient and ruthless about boxing for me to enjoy the sport, even if the sport includes agility, stamina, and years of training I’m under-appreciating.
Authentic blunt force ain’t my entertainment bag.