Politics Behind Boxing

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Boxing is often referred to as the most widely influential sport for a really long time considering its physical as well as mental vividness. Quite often Boxing and Politics are interlinked owing to their striking relationship with one another. Boxing is also stroked in as the only organised and legal “Bloodsport“. The very fact of being a bloodsport consequently gives it the infamous political background. The inheritance of Boxing being an organised sport dates back to as early as 6000 BC in Ethiopia where people took on fist-to-fist fights. Boxing evolved from 16th- and 18th-century Prizefights, largely occurring in Great Britain, and then into the modern boxing in the mid-19th century.

This uniquely vibrant sport made it flashing impact in the Europe and in the US in the early 1700’s. The sport in the nineteenth century America was dominated hugely by the working class Irish, which was succeeded by the Jews, Italian, African-American and the Latinos. The European and Asian immigrants flooded to the country in search of work and a brighter life, but the natives never really encouraged their presence and soon things started building occasional sparks and the then modernized economy went on to compete against one another.

Groupism flourished about in mighty levels mainly on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, color etc. As early as 1892 when George Dixon, the Black featherweight champ triumphed over Jack Shelly, his white counterpart, stupendous moves were initiated by the whites to ban interracial encounters but in vain. Jack Johnson’s unprecedented win over Tommy Burns in 1908 and his consequent challenges went on to foster what is inferred as the ‘Great White Hope’. Gradually, Boxing provided a prominent platform for diversities to express their frustration and anger against each other and the system. And by winning them they demand recognition and strength over the others, ironically replacing professionalism and craftsmanship in the then industrial world by masculinity.

In some years, political parties came up to the foreground, which also helped in the dissolving of ethnic and reform groups among the richly diverse political parties. Political parties soon started gaining momentum and the Democratic party expressed great support for the sport while the Progressive reformers and Republicans tried to suppress the sport’s activity by claiming that it’s immoral and outrageous. However by 1920 the Democratic party managed to get through resulting in the Legalization of Boxing.

Boxing started to make nationwide revolutions and political impacts. In 1936, Max Schmeling, the Nazis’ heroic idol conquered over Joe Louis, the national American hero which clearly manifested tragedy in the fellow American minds and the whole nation wept in tears irrespective of the old and young. A rematch was kept later in the New York City when Louis stunned Schmeling with a first round knock off making it the worldwide Anti-Nazi sentiment which went on resulting in World War II.

Muhammad Ali, widely known as The Greatest heavyweight in the history of boxing is no exception from political and religious controversies off the ring despite being highly successful in the ring. Ali took up Islam religion in 1975 driven by his religious insights which also instigated conflict in his boxing career. He became the political epicenter when he refused to conscript into the U.S Military for which he was arrested and sent to jail nearly four years.

In the modern days, Boxing is massively intoxicated with Corruption and insane amounts of money transactions. In the recently viral fight between Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and American Floyd Mayweather Jr underwent countless criticisms from bloggers around the World questioning the genuineness of the contestants and the overall transparency of the sport. Little though as we know about Pacquiao’s walk out from Boxing and entry into the Political World.

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