A Scottish boxer, Mike Towell, 25 years old, married, a wife, a child, died after a boxing bout last week. (30 September 2016). The spectators were there bathing and shrieking their blood lust, the relentless cameras were on the two competing boxers slugging it out. One was pulped to his eventual death. I guess that at first people experienced a kind of animal orgasm as his knees waggled under the victorious onslaught of the primate called the other boxer. Later on, when the reality of pending disaster pierced barbaric pleasure, the initial excitement would most likely have turned into sentimental sayings of ‘shame’, ‘O God’ and whatever terminology humans use to hide their curtained shame about the consequences of allowed brutalities.

2000 years ago the Romans had their amphitheatres where they set gladiators, convicted prisoners, up to fight animals to this kind or that kind of death. The same thing. Blood lust and animalistic craving. The onslaught of competing evolutionary specimens in a ruthless circus modality.

But, now, it is supposed to be the 21nd century. And we still allow young men to beat each other to pieces to satisfy our hunger for a primal animalistic being upholding a religion of ‘survival of the fittest’? No, we don’t coach abled bodied young men to apply their physical exuberance to some meaningful, some worthwhile course to advance humanity. Or society. No. We prefer them to slug punches to our wild excitement. Even if it results in their death as clots of blood block their boiling brains.

It should be illegal. It should be viewed as disgusting practices of sub-human business acumen and malicious administrative procedures. The cheapest way to make money. But no, it is also an easy and shrewd business venture prostituting on our pre-human animal bloodlust still hiding in our modern bodies. The law should deem this murder by passive consent. But law, so sadly, so often, is lacking.

Mr. President, Mr., Mrs Politician, whenever you have some time to think about boxing ventures after you have focused on political factions bombing children to death, spare a thought for young boxers like the 25 year old Mike Towell. They, without human compassion coming into the fray, have their brains punched to smithereens. And then they just die. Breathless. Shrewd epitaphs to follow as the next incoming boxer warms up to hit out or to be hit.

It seems that we, in our time, still yearn for those past exciting Roman times. Or perhaps, if they could have visualized the future, they would have been in unbearable anguish about what immense excitement they were up to miss.

Wim van der Walt – Bellville