Honolulu Lite
Charles Memminger

Make boxing chickens
new Hawaii sport

Having been on the record for some time for not only being in favor of cockfighting, but believing that all poultry should have a chance to die in the glory of battle before ending up on our dinner plates, it is with some trepidation that I now support the growing sport of chicken boxing.

Chicken boxing is not akin to alligator wrestling or kangaroo boxing, wherein a human engages a creature in combat, but it's a sport in which two evenly matched chickens duke it out wearing boxing gloves the size of champagne corks. This does not mean that I favor the relatively bloodless competition of boxing chickens over roosters fighting with razor sharp blades. I think one can enjoy both the "sweet science" of boxing as well as gruesome homicidal sports such as ice hockey or full-contact chess.

An Oklahoma legislator is proposing the legalization in that state of chicken boxing, sanctioned, curiously, by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission.

The roosters will wear little boxing gloves with a computerized system to tell which cock is beating the hell out of the other one.

"Who's going to object to chickens fighting like humans do?" asked OK state Sen. Frank Shurden.

The answer is PAUAFAP (People Against Using Animals for the Amusement of People). And I suspect more than a few Oklahoma racing horses will be against poultry being allowed to join their club.

IN HAWAII we have illegal cockfighting all the time. These roosters fight to the death, slashing at each other with razor gaffs. If we allowed legal chicken boxing in Hawaii, the worst that would happen to the losing fowl is that all the punching would make him a little more tender for the pot.

Chicken boxing would allow breeders here to continue their pastime without having to hide their cocks from police or disguise them to look like cats or other small animals.

Chicken boxing also would be good for the self-esteem of the chickens, as I would insist that all poultry be allowed to take part in the pugilistic contests, not just the males. The thought of a chicken being taken to the slaughterhouse without being allowed to fight is just too sad to contemplate. (I could have had class, Charlie. I could have been a contender -- instead of the mere entree I am today.)

Charles Memminger, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail cmemminger@starbulletin.com

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