Boxing is not for everyone. To the uninitiated it can be brutal, bloody, and mystifying; if there are few, if any, gay professional boxers, it’s hardly surprising. “Being gay in the boxing world is very taboo,” says Hoskins. “There are definitely some out there, but no one talks about it.” In fact, boxing remains obdurately unreconstructed, a sport where gay slurs are scattered like firecrackers to belittle opponents. The experience of former boxer Emile Griffith is instructive. At the weigh-in before Griffith’s 1962 fight for a world welterweight title, his opponent, a Cuban named Benny “the Kid” Paret, called Griffith a maricón, the Spanish word for faggot. Enraged, Griffith took his revenge in the 12th round of the fight, backing Paret into a corner and knocking him out cold with a vicious flurry of uppercuts. Unseen by the ref, Paret’s arm was hooked on the rope, keeping him upright as Griffith battered his head with a slew of undefended punches. Paret fell into a coma and died 10 days later. Years after his retirement Griffith came out of the closet, and, recalling his bout with Paret, said, “I kill a man and most people understand and forgive me. However, I love a man and so many people find this an unforgivable sin.”

I found this great article on underground gay boxing on
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Had no idea boxers could be out and proud gay.


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