A classic case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Some of the boxers affected by the cancellation
Some of the boxers affected by the cancellation

COMMENT: Carrier sends out a strong message to the world

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Did you read in The News about the junior boxing championships that were due to be held at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, but were cancelled (and eventually relocated 340 miles away in the north east) because the police said there was a threat to life?

Apparently, not cancelling the event would have jeopardised the safety of participants, spectators and officials. That seems to me like a good enough reason to stop something going ahead.

What would have happened had the event gone ahead, something very bad happened and people discovered that the police knew about the risk all along?

I imagine it’s a pretty rare occurrence for this to happen, so it wouldn’t have been without good reason.

Boxing can attract trouble – sometimes the fighting among spectators can be more of a show than what happens in the ring.

Of course, some events still go ahead despite the risk of outbreaks of violence.For instance, the Notting Hill Carnival is still planned to take place this year, yet there were several stabbings and other violent incidents in 2015.

So to cancel the boxing in Portsmouth means, I reckon, that the intelligence would have been very specific.

I’m sure the police have a better idea of the situation than the moaners complaining about it being canned.

Giorgio Brugnoli of the England Boxing Board said it offered to stage the event behind closed doors at a naval base, but the police rejected this suggestion.

I can see why. That’s not going to stop people travelling here looking for trouble, is it? Would those suspected of being intent on causing problems have visited local pubs before bowling on down to HMS Nelson for a shoot-out?

Yes, cancelling the show was a shame for all of the boxers who have no doubt worked tirelessly to get to this stage. Particularly the local ones who were denied the chance to fight in front of a home crowd. They must have been gutted.

But the safety of all those due to have attended the event must come first.

What would have happened had the event gone ahead, something very bad happened and people discovered that the police knew about the risk all along?

They would have been going on about police incompetence. A classic case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.