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British boxing rings in 2016 played host to some of the sport’s cruelest tragedies, as well as some of its most ecstatic moments in recent history.

Tony Bellew finally became world champion in his beloved football club’s stadium of all places, Everton’s Goodison Park. But on the other side of the fighting spectrum, father-of-one Mike Towell died in hospital a day after being knocked down by his opponent Dale Evans in September. It was a horrid reminder of how devastating this fighting business can be.

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Sporting success is a luxury to anyone’s life. It may feel like a necessity to some, but it’s not. Life does go on. Death due to sport, however, is totally unnecessary and the devastating heartache that comes with it will forever be urging boxing into non-existence.

But once feelings are placed to one side and people delve deeper into the intricacies of the sport, stepping away from the bright lights, the reason why boxing is still allowed becomes blatantly obvious. It’s with this investigative project that I, Will Kent, look to prove how this destructive violence is actually benefiting thousands upon thousands of people to this day. From the grassroots level of amateur boxing gyms, such as Southampton’s Golden Ring ABC, all the way to the very top of fighting in pack out stadiums, like John Murray did in his career. Despite boxing’s horrifying dark days, it is still doing a fantastic job of rescuing people from dark lives.

Header image credit: Jon Scriven granted permission. Owner of Boxing Media UK

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