The boxing film that was banned around the world

Originally published at: The boxing film that was banned around the world | Boing Boing


I submit that any and all boxing films are blood sport fodder titillation for the those that would never, have never, and will never enter the ring. I deeply lament my participation in the sport and the fleeting momentary thrill of victory it gave me. I know the torture off beating and being beating by another human being, its scars never fade.

If more evidence is needed, just look to Jack Johnson’s life, or lack there of.


Video link for the BBS


Hm. Hmmm. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, though I’d also be open to the argument that the purpose of films is to communicate an experience which one may not choose to have in real life. Not all films, obviously, and not all films titillate.

Also, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had bad experiences. I’ve enjoyed martial arts in a number of ways over the years and some of the most fun I’ve had has been sparring. Nothing I’ve done has approached what could be called a ‘blood sport’ or left me with the regret you express, but there’s been plenty of occasion to reflect on what I enjoy - and what I don’t.


To be fair, I think the problems Johnson faced in his life had less to do with boxing specifically, and more to do with racism and how he sought to challenge white supremacy through boxing and his publicly flamboyant life (you can see some of the same challenging behaviors among the blues queens in the 20s and 30s). Part of the reason that congress passed the Mann Act - which was aimed at curbing transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes (by that they meant white women only, of course) - was because Johnson kept taking up with white women. They arrested him in 1913 for marrying a white woman.

But yeah, boxing is a pretty brutal sport, even now.


I assume that there are layers of sadism, machismo and homoeroticism in the Sweet Science. If I’m correct, it makes the Marquess of Queensbury’s attitude to his son even worse and hypocritical. I mean, Bosie just wanted to have a relationship with Wilde; while his father got excited about watching the lower classes punch each other for money.


If you are homoerotically inclined, it would come as no surprise to me that watching half naked, sweating, athletic men or women contest in the ring would appeal to you. Doesn’t make the reverse true though that being interested in fights means you are closeted gay. Machismo is definitely part of it, sadism, again, probably if you are so inclined. To me, martial arts is simply one of the purest forms of human physical and mental contest which is why I like to watch it and participate in it, although not on any serious competitive level.


There is a history of the marginalized taking advantage of the boxing ring to advantage while probably being exploited (but I can’t speak to that).

In Australia some of the times indigenous and outsider folk, to white colonialism, have gained a name is in sports and boxing.

A common ‘carny’ styled ‘side show’ into the 60’s was to bet on lasting in the boxing ring with a light weight aboriginal fella and near all big white guys were taken down very quickly by skill and power they weren’t expecting. In a bizarre fairground event big white guys were dropped and humbled in their pre-conceived belief of their power.

As much as I’m repelled by boxing as a violent ‘sport’ I have to say that I can have no judgement… not my place

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