I can’t say I am a fan of boxing, but I can appreciate the discipline required both mentally and physically. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently (full reference below, free access) issued a policy statement on participation of children and adolescents in the sport of boxing (bold emphasis is mine).
Thousands of boys and girls younger than 19 years participate in boxing in North America. Although boxing provides benefits for participants, including exercise, self-discipline, and self-confidence, the sport of boxing encourages and rewards deliberate blows to the head and face. Participants in boxing are at risk of head, face, and neck injuries, including chronic and even fatal neurologic injuries. Concussions are one of the most common injuries that occur with boxing. Because of the risk of head and facial injuries, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society oppose boxing as a sport for children and adolescents. These organizations recommend that physicians vigorously oppose boxing in youth and encourage patients to participate in alternative sports in which intentional head blows are not central to the sport.
I would tend to agree that children should be encouraged to participate in sports that have less risk of concussion injury.
Cauliflower Ear (September 21, 2007)
Mangled Ear--a badge of honor? (August 4, 2008)
Hematoma of Ear (Boxer's Ear) – 1908 TX (October 14, 2009)
Policy Statement—Boxing Participation by Children and Adolescents; American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, Canadian Paediatric Society, and Healthy Active Living and Sports Medicine Committee; Pediatrics 2011; peds.2011-1165; published ahead of print August 28, 2011, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-1165