By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
WBC world heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, has been summoned to appear before the WBC in connection with controversial remarks on death in the boxing ring that he made in the lead up to his fight against Dominic Breazeale on 18 May 2019.
He is reported to have said that he wants to kill an opponent in the ring.
“I am trying to get a body on my record. This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time ……. So why not use my right to do so?”
WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, commented that Wilder’s comments were “regrettable and against the spirit of our sport and our organisation’s code of ethics.”
It is not the first time that Wilder has made such remarks and they would not, therefore, appear to be just ‘fighting talk’ but for real. So, it will be interesting to see what, in fact, the WBC does about them. Let us hope that commercial interests – Boxing is a lucrative sport – colour the issue. Surely this goes beyond the right of freedom of speech!
In any case, remarks, such as Wilder’s, provide ammunition to those, in many quarters, who wish to see Boxing made an illegal sport!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’