Friday, November 19, 2010

A Piece of Steak

Last Sunday, the Philippines came to a standstill as their national hero, Manny Pacquiao, boxed his way to a record 8th title against Mexican opponent Antonio Margarito. Pacquiao made a bloody mess of Margarito's face, to the delight of fight fans everywhere. In 2009, after another Pacquiao fight, I wrote that I wanted boxing to be banned for its blatant brutality, not just in the ring but in the apparent bloodlust it inspires in its spectators. Last Sunday I was thinking about a Jack London story published in 1909 called "A Piece of Steak." It possesses some of the same characteristics - a celebration of cruelty for its own sake and a powerful anti-poverty message - that can be found in much of London's writings. London was a much better writer than his reputation suggests. I offer it here as a tribute to boxers past and present.

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