Horrific real-world violence is quite often blamed on the violent media we consume — that's a story that goes back to comic books in the 1950s. But on this week’s show, we thought we'd take a look at violent sports — where two combatants fight, either in boxing or mixed martial arts — and ask why. Why do they fight? Why do we watch?
I grew up watching boxing and professional wrestling. It was about heroes and villains, a cathartic display. It felt like fiction that I could get wrapped up in, until the tragic fight between Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and Duk Koo Kim — the 1982 "Fight That Changed Boxing Forever." Kim died in that fight after sustaining fatal head injuries. The tragedy of that fight (and its consequences, which played out for years afterward) left me shaken — I wrote a bit about it, as well as how it relates to two more recent (and equally tragic) deaths in the boxing ring.