Forget the hype, skating’s just as hardcore as boxing

As I reflect on this past week’s figure skating controversy in Salt Lake City, it’s interesting to note the similarities between this disgraced sport and boxing. I never realized figure skating permitted such wanton, anarchic violence.

The suspicious pre-competition collision between Russian skater Anton Sikharulidze, a vicious product of the streets, and Canadian Jamie Sele bears compares to recent pre-fight disputes involving Tyson/Lewis, Morales/Barrera, de la Hoya/Vargas and Lewis/Rahman.

U.S. skating prodigy Sasha Cohen, thug for life that she is, also “accidentally” bumped rival Michelle Kwan during practice before the national championships. I guess you can’t take the street out of some of these skaters.

Skating judges, feeling pressure from their national federations to rig scores for certain competitors, tarnished the already questionable integrity of the sport by unfairly awarding a decision to the Russian pair.

Sounds like every fight involving a Don King fighter that goes to the scorecards in Vegas. Although Americans probably won’t see Clarence “‘Bones” Adams on Larry King Live if he gets screwed again by the judges this weekend against Paulie Ayala.

Remember when Mike Tyson paid one of his entourage members to break Evander Holyfield’s kneecap before Tyson/Holyfield II? Who can forget Holyfield crying pitifully before the cameras in his dressing room, as he clutched his injured knee?

“Why me? Why meeeee?” Holyfield wailed out, as a sympathetic America wiped its eyes.

Wait a minute. That never happened, at least not in boxing. Of course, everyone recalls the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident.

Harding, with her braids and hip-hop attitude, had originally asked pipe-wielder Jeff Gilooly to “bust a cap in Kerrigan’s ass.” Fortunately for Kerrigan, Gilooly considered himself too old-school for such extreme violence and merely bruised her knees.

Why do we, as decent Americans who deplore evil-doers, accept this deviant behavior? We need to stop believing the hype that figure skating is all about artistic grace and sparkling costumes.

It’s about terror and thinly veiled rage. Who knows how many competitors Brian Boitano physically manhandled and mentally terrorized during his skating reign?

Where are the outcries to ban figure skating? With its judging scandals and the physical violence associated with the sport, it’s a wonder nobody has tainted it with the “barbaric” label. There is no hesitation to foist the damning description upon boxing.

It should be obvious to everyone by now that figure skating is only for the hardcore. The sport attracts the criminally pathological elements of our society and encourages them to act upon their basest instincts.

Forget revamping the judging system. This sport needs congressional oversight.