Boxing and Christianity - are they compatible?

I’ve often heard boxers talk about their faith - e.g. Manny Pacquiao He claims to be a devout Christian. For a living, he beats up other men for money…is this compatible with the teachings of Christ?

Isn’t it a trope, the Irish boxing Priest?


I’ve always felt the undertone of violence is what drives christianity in the first place. “Fight For Christ”, “Onward Christian Soldiers / Marching Off To War!” Let’s not forget “The Passion Of the Christ”, which is now considered to be the most violent film of all time. (At least Ebert thought so.)

I’ve always felt embarrassed for athletes who point to the sky after a base hit. Not much different for thanking a deity after successfully beating up another man. :rolleyes:

I’m under the impression that boxers usually enjoy boxing. The pain is part of the experience, just as an aching legs are part of the experience of running a marathon. As long as both guys in the match are voluntary participants I don’t see any problem.

Interestingly enough, there’s at least one Bible passage which actually uses boxing (as part of a metaphor):

SomeBodyUK– you fail to understand Boxing.

Every day, the Boxer must face terrible pain.
He can quit anytime he wants.
Every day, the Boxer must face heartbreaking exercise goals.
He can quit anytime he wants.
Every day, the Boxer must face brutal exhaustion.
He can quit anytime he wants.
But he doesn’t quit.
Boxing isn’t about hurting people.
Boxing isn’t about you against the other fellow.

Boxing is **you **against you.

Voluntary self-denial & discipline.

I still wonder how compatible it can be, my first thought was to remember a cartoon I once saw in which a boxer is next to a reporter’s mic and behind them the opponent appears beaten into a bloody pulp, the victor says with no concern to the defeated: “First, I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for this victory.” :dubious:

If a Roman Emperor can be a Christian, I don’t see how their is any barrier to entry for mere boxers. Sheesh, big deal, you hand out a bunch of bruises and the occasional concussion… small potatoes in the scheme of things.

Not that I have anything against boxing, but there are any number of activities you could describe this way that don’t involve hitting other people. Violence really is an essential part of the sport, and it’s not helpful to try to pretend otherwise.

How can a daily exercise goal be heartbreaking?

Well, I realize there’s no point in romanticizing it, but it’s not just (indeed, not even primarily) about what you can do to the other guy, but can you face what he’ll do to you. Can you deflect, dodge and absorb punishment while closing to inflict punishment of your own, despite instincts telling you to either get the heck outta there or go all caveman with the biting and head-butting and kicking and such.

An even “purer” form of combat sport, arguably, is jousting - where you have no means of defense at all beyond being able to stay in the saddle when a lance point hits you like a sledgehammer going 60 mph.

Not speaking so much for Christianity, but in only my understandings of the teachings of Christ. You can do anything as long as your heart is right with God. Any profession is OK, even illegal ones, if you are in the the condition of loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbors as yourself.

It is only the condition of the heart that matters as far as God is concerned.

I always thought those pre-game prayers (football) were pretty strange. You are invoking God’s blessing-and realizing that the concussions taken can cause people to become demented before age 40.

It’s no more incongruous than devout medieval knights knocking each other off horses.

Plus, of course, Joseph wrestled with an angel.

Because at the end of the day, you’re just not good enough. You’re a washout, Rocky ! You’ll never hack it ! :slight_smile:

Father Mulcahy from MASH fits that bill.