On Saturday, May 2nd there will be a big fight in Las Vegas – just in case you missed hearing about it. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will duke it out at the MGM in what is billed as “the fight of the century.” (That would seem to be a bit premature as the century is only fifteen years old and who knows what is yet to come).
It is estimated that this fight will generate an insane amount of revenue and that Mayweather and Pacquiao will each earn in excess of $100 million in their 60/40 split. Since boxing is inherently a violent sport and we know that all liberals would rather hand out flowers and give the peace sign to all passersby than engage in anything combative, I can only assume that conservatives whom the left points to regularly as being instigators of war, dissension and all the ills with which mankind is burdened will be the only people in attendance either in person or via the miracle of Pay Per View.
Further cementing my argument that only conservatives will have the desire to watch this contest is the left’s insistence on bringing to justice and avoiding any of those who engage in perpetrating the “War on Women,” (ISIS being a notable exception) is Mayweather’s rather checkered past in this regard. His conviction in 2012 of domestic abuse resulted in an 87 day jail term of which he served 60 days. Apparently the Australian government takes this sort of thing rather more seriously than the American people at large since they denied a visa to Mayweather to come to the Land Down Under to do a promotional tour.
It seems to me rather an anomaly that while we give lip service to the evils of violence, (note the recent protests regarding the violence allegedly inflicted on Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD by six members of that city’s police department) we not only condone but actively participate in an act of violence because we define it as a sport, boxing. This certainly demonstrates the human ability to be on both sides of an issue. While we do not yet know how the charges which have been leveled against the officers who were involved in Mr. Gray’s apprehension and subsequent unfortunate death will be determined in a court of law, we do know that many professional and amateur fighters have died as a result of injuries that they sustained in the ring.
In some regard we have made the “sport” of boxing a bit more civilized than when the ancient Greeks participated in it in the early Olympics. Then the fighters were matched irrespective of weight and rather than the soft gloves we use today, hard leather straps were wrapped around the fists of the fighters which often resulted in scarring when a solid punch was landed. Of the three “combat sports,” boxing, wrestling and pantakrion, (a combination of the techniques of the first two), boxing was considered the most dangerous.
As we approach “the big fight” on Saturday, I was startled to learn that a ringside seat in the arena can cost a six figure price. All to watch two men beat the tar out of each other. Whatever the outcome of the fight, that we are still so involved as a species in not only witnessing but vicariously participating in what can only be described as a controlled act of violence speaks volumes to our evolution as people. How much further might we go to satisfy our apparent blood lust?
The left has made the argument that our prisons are bursting at the seams and there is an over-representation among that population of minorities. Both parts of that statement are true – although the reasons might be subject to debate. While they have no difficulty supporting abortion on demand, they are horror struck that people are adjudged as having committed crimes that are so heinous as to be deemed worthy of the death penalty. They point to the fact that we have more people on death row than the rest of the world combined. That may be because organizations like ISIS don’t normally have a complex process of appeals that lasts for decades and generally dispense summary beheading. I have also heard some on the most extreme fringe of the political spectrum argue that life in prison itself is “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Here’s a thought that would lower the prison population of people with life sentences or on whom the death penalty has been imposed, would both save us a boatload of money by reducing the numbers of those whom society has to support in our penal institutions and would raise a significant amount of money from blood lusting viewers. I owe the origination of this thought to the fact that I happened to watch a broadcast of “Gladiator” the other night.
We offer those on death row and those with life sentences the opportunity to get out of jail by participating in a gladiatorial style conflict – a battle to the death. Whether the inmate chose to participate would be at her or his sole discretion. If the participant survives three of these bouts, she or he is freed. Now how simple is that? If we were to implement this it would result in a guaranteed minimum reduction in the number of these criminals by at least 75%. And consider that if four million people are willing to pay $100 to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight on television, can you imagine what they would be willing to pay to watch a battle to the death?
You might, as a civilized person, recoil from this modest proposal. I can certainly understand that. Or perhaps you’re simply concerned that we are going to release some number of known violent criminals back into society. But we know that under former DOJ Attorney General Eric Holder, hundreds of known violent offenders were let back into the general population. At least those who were sufficiently depraved would have a few minutes of entertainment and the money from these fights could be heavily taxed to fund research into what there is in our DNA that allows far too many of us to act out violently and hopefully find a vaccine to prevent it in the future.