There was a time in the sport when the sight of one boxer biting another (more than once during the bout) would have generated far more outrage than that which we witnessed after Kash Ali chose to repeatedly sink his teeth into David Price a few weeks back. Such a thing would not be tolerated yet today, indicative of the desensitized times we live in, such a sickening event is soon forgotten.
Ali’s case has generated a few more headlines today, as his punishment has been announced: a six month ban along with a £10,000 fine. But is this strong enough? In light of how many fighters have around six months between fights these days, the ban seems to be quite laughable, while the fine, of around half of Ali’s purse for the fight, is not much stronger. For what he did, Ali was still paid the handsome sum of £10,000 (minus taxes and expenses). Does this, then, send out the wrong message to other would-be cheats; fighters out there who won’t worry too much about doing something as unsportsmanlike as Ali’s disgusting act?
Ali, no doubt enjoying the level of “fame” and notoriety he would never have had had he not done what he did, is already planning his next fight. But will you watch him fight? Would you actually pay to watch Ali fight? Some fans say everyone is entitled to a second chance, while others ask the question: what if Ali does something like this again in the future?
As Price himself lamented, this is far from the first biting incident we have seen in the ring, and it will not be the last. There was, however, a time when no practitioner of The Sweet Science would have even thought about lowering himself and the sport in such a way. How times have changed. For the worst. Imagine, for example, the great Sir Henry Cooper disgracing himself and his chosen profession by biting an opponent in the ring. Not a chance.