The emergence of footage showing two children aged under ten cage fighting in Lancashire appalled both doctors and members of the public last week.
A 10-minute video of nine year-old, Kian Makinson, grapling with eight year-old opponenent, Luca Deeley, at Greenland's Labour Club in Preston has drawn criticism from child welfare bodies including the NSPCC and Safechild.
Chris Cloke, the NSPCC's Head of Child Protection awareness, said:"It's quite disturbing that some of those involved in the bouts were as young as eight, an age when they are still developing, physically and mentally.
"The organisers of these activites should think very carefully before allowing children to be involved when they are egged on to inflict violence."
Child psychologist, Emma Citron, added that such fights could cause "long-term psychological damage" and fuel anti-social tendencies.
The bout was staged in front of 250 adults at a sold-out ticket-only event, with social services now set to investigate following the public backlash.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said they were "no further issues to pursue" with the venue but Lancashire County Council has suggested the parents of the fighters may be charged with neglect.
A spokesman for the British Medical Association, said: "The BMA is opposed to boxing and cage fighting.
"This example of cage fighting among young children is particularly disturbing, especially as they are not even wearing head guards."
As disturbing is the fact that both fathers of the young fighters have defended the bout and said they would like their sons to continue training.
Youngsters fighting with protection has sparked controversy in other countries, including America and Australia, where children as young as six participate, although it is a criminal misdemeanor in some parts of both countries.
Posted on September 23 2011 at 1545 by Richard. Comment by emailing: email@example.com