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July 28, 1989

Amateur Boxing-Reply

JAMA. 1989;262(4):500. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430040069021

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In Reply.—  The people who run amateur boxing seem to be genuinely concerned with the safety of the sport, and there is no doubt that it is well regulated. However, most amateur boxers themselves, at the Olympic level anyway, do not seem to see amateur boxing as an end in itself but rather as a means to go into professional boxing and perhaps become rich and famous. When boxers are betting among themselves, as they did in Seoul, South Korea, on who gets the quickest knockout, it does not sound as if they value style and technique over a convincing demonstration of physical superiority. With regard to professional boxing, it is a paradox of our society to condemn violence and brutality on one hand while paying professional boxers millions of dollars to batter each other in a sport whose main point seems to be to inflict pain and suffering.