12 Wince-Inducing Photos Of Boxers Before And After A Fight

Photographer Howard Schatz studied professional boxing for six years in a bid to get under the skin of fighting champions.

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Awed and thoroughly inspired by [boxers'] phenomenal and boundless courage, or 'heart', I was moved to study the sport through my lens.
I am utterly fascinated by boxers, by the intensity and self-sacrifice required… at the same time… an acute blow to a boxer's head can result in an irreversible change to the cerebral cortex at the cellular level.
I learned that there are no other athletes who endure and experience what fighters accept: the risk of serious physical harm caused by opponents whose careers are advanced by inducing a comatose state - often brief, sometimes irrecoverable - in their opponents.
No one watching a boxer drop to the canvas thinks of coma; no one but the ringside physician … the fight fan sees power, force, domination, the will of one gladiator suddenly projected onto another, and its remarkable, memorable, thrilling result.
Given the powerful human attraction to observing violence, if not necessarily participating in it, boxing is very human; brutal, yes, but human.
My major goal was to use each boxer to make art, to make a remarkable and unique image that surprised and delighted me.
Boxers are special individuals with desire and vulnerability, bravado and suffering, yearnings, and accomplishments and failures.
I have heard it said, by many, that one falls in love with boxers, these violent yet vulnerable men. And so I have.