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Greatest, and most tragic boxing match..


James

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...I've witnessed. I just watched the Ray Mancini Kim Duk-koo fight from 1982, where Kim was knocked out via tko in the 14th round, and minutes later went into a coma and died 5 days later. Some thoughts:

While I'm not a boxing aficionado, and have come to believe the sport is wrong headed, I respect boxers and the history of the sport. There's probably no other sport that tests the will and heart of the athlete. It's a great sport, and it's Americana, but it's a bad sport too cuz the object is to damage your opponents brain to the point he is knocked out. Not good.

This fight, up to the end, was the greatest fight I've ever witnessed. Very even fight where both guys were warriors and fought with ultimate heart. Kim even managed to get up after the final death blow....the dude showed throughout the 14 rounds that he had the heart of a lion. 

A couple related tragedies, were Kim's Mom committing suicide 3 months later. The referee, Richard Green, also committed suicide the following year. It's a double tragedy in that the referee called the match exactly right, but the guilt demons are strong sometimes, even when there is nothing to be guilty for.

RIP Man, and RIP to Kim and Kim's Mom also.

Any thoughts?

 

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Followed boxing regularly from the early 60’s through Duran/Hearns/Hagler/Leonard quartets battles...Always had a guilty pleasure enjoying boxing because,  deep down inside, knew that it was savagery, but enjoyed it nonetheless...I remember the first time I was aware of a death in the ring was Benny “Kid” Paret who was killed against Emile Griffith...Paret was my good friend’s favorite and his death shook us both up...I’ve gotten away from boxing after my all-time favorite Duran retired...When you step away, you realize how even more barbaric it all is...

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I've come to the conclusion that all men are warriors on some level. I kind of abandoned boxing, also, but for a different reason. I enjoy UFC even more! While on the surface it appears even more brutal, far fewer people die in that sport. Boxing subjects the brain to an accumulation of punches- a lot of head trauma. UFC fighters use really light gloves, really no more than a knuckle covering, and fights are over with fewer punches. Submissions are a big part of the game, and an opponent can 'tap out' at any time. The refs are very good at protecting a helpless fighter, jumping in to stop a bout when it is obvious the opponent can no longer protect themselves. 

It's still hard to rationalize my enjoyment of the sport, but there it is!

 

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