Big business boxes clever

AS BOXER Gerald McClellan lies critically ill after the removal of a huge brain clot following last Saturday’s fight with Nigel Benn, the call to ban boxing is once again being vigorously promoted by sections of the liberal bourgeoisie. In response the money-grabbing professional boxing establishment has wheeled out those in the front line to defend its ill-gotten gains.

One such person who made - in his own naive way - a particularly telling intervention against the hypocrisy of the anti-boxing lobby was Gary Mason, the former British heavyweight champion. “All that two individuals are trying to do is better themselves through fighting,” he said. “It’s like saying, ‘let’s stop sending people to war; stop sending them to kill people they don’t even know’.”

Anti-boxing liberals and ‘leftists’ can indeed frequently be found among those campaigning, for example, for stronger imperialist intervention against Serbia - an intervention which would lead to the slaughter of thousands more - all in the name of humanity.

Working class youths sometimes look to boxing as their route away from the poverty and alienation of capitalism. Like drugs and prostitution, it can provide such an escape for a minority.

However unsavoury these escape routes may be, we should not call for the state to ban them, thus driving them underground. Instead we need to win those at the very bottom of society to see their liberation in the smashing of capitalism itself.

Alan Fox