The semi-official Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica has called for a ban on professional boxing, saying that the sport is “merciless and inhuman.”
The editorial in Civilta Cattolica compared boxing to the ancient combat between gladiators, noting that 500 fighters have died of injuries sustained in the ring. Even if he is not seriously injured in a bout, the magazine said, a battered boxer always “carries the signs of death in his body, on his face, and particularly in his soul.”
The sport survives, the magazine argued, only because of an unhealthy public interesting violence, which enables “cruel” promoters to draw profit from the suffering of the combatants. While acknowledging that the same commercial forces would make it difficult to enact a legal ban, the editorial says that boxing “violats the natural and divine moral precept against killing.”
Editorials in Civilta Cattolica are regarded as particularly authoritative, because they are cleared in advance by the Vatican Secretariat of State.
Makes sense to me, though I’m surprised Roy Jones Jr.’s last fight against Antonio Tarver wasn’t characterized as assisted suicide.