The debacle of the recent non-fight between Chris Eubank Jnr and Conor Benn – actually a bout cancelled by the British Board of Boxing Control as “against the interests of the sport”, apparently despite the protests (up to and including threatened legal action) of promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren and also, for that matter, against the wishes of Chris Eubank Snr who tried to stop it going ahead because of his worries about the health of his son having to slim down to the agreed one-off “catchweight” contest limit) – has brought into renewed sharp focus the issue of the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs in boxing.
Here on the Rust we have commented before upon the historic – both real and alleged – degree of corruption, cheating and sharp practices that have accompanied the world of pugilism since the dawn of time, despite also admitting our enjoyment of the entertainment value and thrill of the “mano-a-mano” physical contact aspect of the sport that dials into the fundamental competitive nature of the human condition which – as with all species – centres upon survival instincts.
In the wake of the Eubank/Benn bout fall-out, however, the seriousness of the latest revelations coming from the world of boxing arguably represent an existential threat to it. If contests in boxing cannot be trusted to take place in “level playing field”, non-cheating, fair and untainted refereeing/judges-scoring conditions, then it calls into question whether it is worthy of being regarded as a sport at all.
Here is a link to a forceful article by Riath Al-Samarrai reviewing the current state of drug-use in boxing that appears today upon the website of the – DAILY MAIL