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Police probe online video of young boys 'cage fighting'

By Richard Hall

Lancashire police are to investigate the online posting of a video of two eight-year-old boys "cage fighting" at a Lancashire Labour club.

The British Medical Association (BMA) described the footage shot at the Greenlands Labour Club in Preston on 10 September as "disturbing". The video shows the boys wrestling in a caged ring in front of around 250 people.

Neither child was wearing protective helmets. At one point, one of the children appears to cry and medical professionals are called into the ring.

Organisers of the event said they worked closely with police and that the boys were not in danger. Club manager Michelle Anderson said the boys "loved it".

Nick Hartley, the father of one of the boys, denied his son was at risk.

He said: "It's not one bit dangerous. It's a controlled sport. He likes to do it. He's never forced to do it; he wants to do it, so leave him to do it."

A BMA spokesman said: "Boxing and cage fighting are sometimes defended on the grounds that children learn to work through their aggression with discipline and control.

"The BMA believes there are many other sports... which require discipline but do not pose the same threat of brain injury."

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