Science in The Squared Circle: Preface to "Why Boxing?"

Melvin HunterContributor IJuly 25, 2010

There is so much to offer in the world of sports. You can bask in the serene surroundings of a golf course as your favorite player steps to the teeing ground to advance the ball with the least number of strokes.

If that isn't your cup of "tee," you may be one who prefers the chill of the hockey rink as you hear the skates scrape against the ice and a slap shot send the puck flying 90 miles per hour into the goal.

Then again, if your goal is not to see the use of stick to puck, but foot to ball, soccer is your game. You anticipate the players moving the ball and maneuvering with picturesque athleticism to drive the ball into the enemy's territory.

Or, if you like seeing balls driven but prefer them being smashed with netted aluminum rackets, your sport is tennis. It invigorates you as your head moves from side to side following the fast-paced, hypnotic rhythm of racket to ball to racket.

But then again, you may prefer the racket of helmets and shoulder pads clashing on the field as the titans collide to protect their quarterback from the blitz as the oblong pigskin swirls into the air to meet the hands of the wide receiver.

Maybe your ball is not oblong, but spherical, and from the moment of the tip-off you watch your favorite players score three-pointers, hook shots, lay-ups, and dunks. And you cringe at the sight of the opposing team's baskets, since your team has home-court advantage.

But speaking of home, you might prefer when the batter assumes the position at home plate, awaiting the pitch with the bases loaded. And you sit patiently as the pitcher and the catcher communicate in a language unknown to the batter. Then, as the
ball escapes the pitcher's hand, the bat connects and sends the ball darting through the air and out of the stadium to score the big grand slam.

Now, I must admit, I do find pleasure in all of these. I enjoy the craze on the court, the calm on the course, the fervor on the field, the raucous in the rink.

However, there is one place that lights that passionate fire in my soul. There is one place that, no matter the season, I can catch a glimpse of its grandeur, a view of its valor. There is a place where the sweet science resides, and that place is the squared circle of illuminated canvas. This is the place that holds my passion.

I am a football and basketball fan. I have two favorite football teams and one favorite basketball team. When my teams play, I watch calmly. Whether they win or lose doesn't usually have much of an effect on me.

However, when the gladiators grace the canvas, all anxiety and nervousness surface. All of my attention hones in on the squared circle. For this is where the warriors meet to participate in the sweet science.

And when they collide, I am there with them, absorbing every punch, throwing the perfect jab and counter punch. I become lost and I drown out all surrounding noise.

For now I am in my niche. I am here as a scientist. I am here to analyze, dissect, and put back together again.