In a previous entry, I mentioned that competitive boxing isn’t for everyone. The average spectator will never understand the physical and mental toughness required to survive in this sport. As I’ve said before, you don’t play boxing the same way that you play mainstream sports such as baseball, basketball, and football. As barbaric as it may sound, there’s no better feeling for a boxer than to win by knockout. Boxers don’t step into the ring to play. They step into the ring to fight.
Hurt – Boxing Tribute
Whenever I state that boxing isn’t played like other sports, most fighters nod their head in agreement. Ultimately, if you have stepped inside the ring, you know what the sport is all about. You understand the risks. There’s a good chance that you’ve tasted your share of pain. Hopefully, you’ve also dished some out.
Yet, even those who understand the nature of the sport can benefit from an occasional reminder. One of the worst things that a fighter can do is to get too comfortable with the sport. A competitive fighter must understand the risks that he faces.
The video below should provide a much needed reminder.
As you can see, it’s a powerful video. The editor did a tremendous job at capturing the physical and mental anguish that is often experienced through the sport. Boxing certainly isn’t a game that you play.
Always Stay Sharp
I’m sure there are certain readers wondering why on earth I would want to remind a boxer about the harsh nature of the sport. The reason is actually quite simple though. I am not trying to discourage anyone or elicit unnecessary fear. On the contrary, I want my boxers to be ultra sharp and aware each time they enter the ring. Some might disagree, but I believe it’s useful to know that you are never more than one careless mistake away from tasting the canvas.
To no surprise, some of the best boxing you’ll ever see is when a boxer faces a heavy handed opponent. The boxer is forced to be sharp. There’s no time to be lazy or careless. Instead, he needs to be ultra sharp with everything that he does.
Unfortunately, some boxers lose that sharpness in the gym. It often happens when a boxer is limited to the same sparring partners over and over again. As the rounds accumulate, the boxer develops a false sense of comfort. He already knows what his sparring partners can and can’t do, so he’s able to get away with less than his best.
In summary, the take home message is simple. As a competitive boxer, you must respect the sport and understand the risks that you face. A lax behavior in the gym often translates to a lax performance on fight night.
With that in mind, it’s important for boxers to be challenged at the gym. If you are never forced to be sharp when sparring, you can’t expect to be sharp when you are fighting.
Therefore, as you improve, be sure that the quality of your sparring improves as well. And if you don’t have quality sparring available at your gym, you’d better be prepared to travel. Your future opponent won’t care if it was convenient for you or not.