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Boxing 101

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Boxing, often referred to as the “sweet science,” is essentially the art of hitting one’s opponent and successfully parrying the blows directed back, or stated another way, it is the art of “hitting without being hit.” Sounds simple enough right?  Of course, have you ever seen a fight where one fighter manages to avoid every single one of his opponents punches?  It is very unlikely that after twelve rounds of boxing you will ever witness a combatant with a goose egg in the Comp-U-Box punches landed category.  Unfortunately, getting hit is an unavoidable aspect of the sport, and the conditioning required to absorb a fights’ worth of body punches is even more important than the ability to avoid them.  Hey, the fight game comes with a giant caveat, “enter at your own risk.”  The ring can be a very unforgiving and difficult place to make a living, and for the multitudes that toil, sweat, and bleed in obscurity in gyms all across the world, personal atonement is often their only reward.  No one ever said fighting was easy, but then again it wouldn’t be so compelling if it was.  However, for those that are bold enough to endure the mental and physical anguish that comes with pushing your body well beyond its limits, than I say “let’s lace em’ up.”

So where were we?  Oh yeah, you were looking to learn how to hit your opponent and avoid being hit in return.  Well, the good news is there are definite ways to improve your odds of being the one raised in victory and decrease your odds of being the one raised from the canvas.  All you need is a little instruction, a lot of discipline, and the mindset to push on through the mental and physical roadblocks.  So if you are ready, grab yourself a bottle of water, download your favorite inspirational Rocky tunes, and let’s get ready to trade some leather!            


Boxing Stance

Ok, first things first; a fighter needs to take every precaution to ensure that he protects his most valued asset, his hands.  Unless you are Floyd Mayweather and can manage victory despite having two injured hands or you are like Roberto Duran and literally have “Hands of Stone,” you are most definitely going to want to wrap those delicate knuckles and appendages.   

Once your fists have been properly bound, it is time to get into the proper boxing stance that will allow you to effectively block incoming punches and provide you with the balance to launch counter attacks.

Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.  Next, position your feet so that your dominant foot is slightly aft of your other foot (if you are fighting right-handed than your right foot should be behind your left, if you are fighting as a southpaw than this order would be reversed.)  Now, with your arms at your sides, raise your hands up to your chin, keeping your elbows in place and tucked in next to your body.  This “first position” will help simultaneously guard your chin and your midsection, and it is one that you must consistently remember to revert back to after throwing any type of punch.  It is also very important that you retain this spacing between your feet and not allow your feet to get crisscrossed or too close to each other, otherwise your stability will be compromised and you will be more susceptible to being knocked down.  Granted, fighters like Muhammad Ali and Naseem Hamed had incredible success with styles that existed outside the scope of the orthodox; however, speed and reflexes of that nature are almost impossible to teach, and it is therefore best to assimilate the more conventional fundamentals into your cache of fighting knowledge.            



Jab- The jab is a punch thrown from the first position stance using the lead hand.  Thrown properly, a good solid jab is one of the most effective tools you can utilize to keep your opponent on the defensive, and it serves as a distraction while you load up with more potentially harmful stuff.  Just be careful, a long rangy jab can be susceptible to a counter right over the top, so you want to make sure your right hand stays glued to your chin and that you bring the jab straight back quickly once it is thrown.

The mechanics of the jab are pretty straightforward.  With your chin down, snap your lead hand out (left for orthodox and right for southpaw), rolling it slightly inward so that your palms are facing downward and the  knuckles of your index and middle finger are poised to make contact.  Former welterweight and middleweight champ Kid McCoy accentuated this “twisting motion” with his self proclaimed “corkscrew punch,” which existed to exaggerate the damage that the punch was capable of inflicting.  Instead of concentrating so much on the twist, however, imagine as you throw the punch that your arm is like a locker room towel that is being snapped against the rear end of some unsuspecting rube.  You want to try to create that “whip-like” effect as your glove reaches its impact zone.

Some fighters throw the jab with such bad intention that it becomes a debilitating punch solely on its own merit, without the need of a follow up cross or hook.  Fighters like Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Sonny Liston used to throw the jab with such force that it landed as a power shot, making it a powerful offensive tool in their arsenal.  If you focus on pushing off with your back leg and using your bodyweight to drive through your target, you can land the jab in a slower, yet more forceful manner in this way.  Most fighters, however, are prone to emulating the likes of Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali by throwing the jab more as a conventional range finding tool with which to help set up their more potent follow up weapons. Either way, a fighter active with the jab can create a multitude of offensive openings for himself, while simultaneously keeping his opponent off balance and on the defensive.  The type of jab you throw will largely depend on the style of fighter you are facing and whether you are looking to impose your will on a more weak-kneed opponent or simply box safely from the outside.

What is good about the jab is that it can be thrown from a good distance and can be just as effective to fighters with a reach advantage looking to keep their opponent at bay, as it can be to a shorter fighter looking to work his way inside a taller fighter’s defense.  The important thing to remember is that you do not “leap” forward to close the distance or you may risk catching a counter hook or uppercut on the way in.  It is better to shuffle your feet, maintaining the proper spacing, allowing your lead toe to touch down just as the punch reaches its intended target.

Cross- One of the best things about throwing the jab effectively is that it creates opportunities for the “2” portion of the “1-2” to be unloaded.  Thrown in much the same manner as the jab, the cross is delivered with the dominant power hand but it has the added benefit of more heft and weight behind it.  Typically the cross follows closely behind the jab; however, if a fighter is quick enough, the straight right hand can be thrown at any time, adding an unpredictable dimension to a fighter’s offense.  Roy Jones Jr. is a good example of a fighter that could shoot a straight right from a variety of angles.  Coupled with his lightening fast lead hook, his varied attack made for a nightmare to defend against.        

OK, from your base stance, first throw a few well meaning jabs and then bring your power hand through in as straight a line as you can.  Remember your geometry? Same rule of distance over time applies here.  Take A to B as quick as you can.  If you have ever seen a Toughman contest or an unsolicited backyard brawl, you know that the fighting style of choice consists mainly of haymakers and roundhouses.  You want to fight smarter than that, and the way to do so is to shoot straight and hard.  Occasionally, you will see fighters throw more of an “overhand right/left variation, which presents a different angle for its intended recipient and can be useful against an opponent who keeps his guard relatively high.  However, great trainers always talk about “punching through the bag” or “punching through your opponent,” and this is difficult to do without allowing your shoulder to finish off the punch.  Just like a good baseball swing, the follow through is a critical component to generating power.

Just remember not to get lackadaisical with your defense.  As you release your right hand, keep your chin tucked into your right shoulder and keep your left glove pinned to your left cheek.  Don’t let your willingness to mount an offensive attack interfere with your ability to fortify around your home base!       

Hook- When you think left hook, immediately you should conjure up images of Joe Frazier placing a well timed left to the jaw of Muhammad Ali.  Frazier managed to catch Ali pulling straight back with his hands at his sides; a perfectly timed and perfectly planted left to the kisser.  Just like in this instance, the left hook can be a devastating punch in large part because of the torque generated by the twisting motion of the shoulder, core and front pivot foot.  In addition, the hook is thrown from a different angle than the jab and cross, making it more difficult for your opponent to identify it within his field of vision and block it accordingly. 

While the mechanics of the hook are a little more difficult to master than some of the other punches, the extra gym work is definitely warranted in this case to achieve perfection.  Much like analyzing a golf swing, you need to work through the movement slowly, making sure that you are exploding forward with your body, and ending with the optimal amount of speed and punching power.

Begin in the first position, arms up, chin down, and shift your weight to your lead leg.  Next, bring your left hand outward and snap it up and over as quickly as you can, finishing with your elbow high and your forearm almost parallel to floor (for southpaws this is reversed).  The majority of your punching power should be derived from the twisting of your torso and the pivoting of your front foot.  Also, be sure to plant your back foot, and with your shoulder relaxed, try to turn the punch over allowing your shoulder to help propel the punch forward.  Just remember to keep your right hand in a position to protect your chin, and once you have finished throwing the hook, remember to bring your left hand back to its original position as quickly as you can.

The hook, if thrown short and compact, is one of the most lethal punches in all of boxing.  Perhaps the best example is Sugar Robinson’s one punch knockout of Gene Fullmer in their 1957 rematch.  Akin to Bruce Lee’s “six inch punch,” a good hook should travel a short distance and not be thrown in a looping manner.  If you come wide you are likely to get countered.

Once you master the mechanics, practice, practice, and practice some more.  Work upstairs and downstairs and you will soon realize that no greater satisfaction exists in boxing than a well timed hook to the jaw or a crushing blow to the liver (see Roy Jones vs. Virgil Hill and Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar de la Hoya.)   

Uppercut- The uppercut is one of the most underused punches in the average fighter’s arsenal.  However, if thrown properly, the uppercut can provide a nice follow-up to a raking body shot, and it can also be used to counter a fighter who has a tendency to lunge with his punches.  If you watch fight film of Mike Tyson in his prime you will not find a better example of a “right hook to the body- right uppercut combo.” Work to develop this punch and look for opportunities to get inside and test it on your opponents chin.  It is a difficult punch to anticipate defensively and tough to block by virtue of the natural positioning of the elbows.

To throw an uppercut properly, you must relax your shoulders and concentrate on snapping the punch through to its target.  First, you transfer your weight to the side that you are launching the uppercut from, dip your corresponding shoulder, and turn your upper body slightly in the opposite direction as you bring the punch up and through.  It is best if you throw straight from your chin, not allowing your hands to drop, so you do not telegraph the punch and alert your opponent of your intentions.  This is an important point to remember, because you want to continually work on punching in as quick and efficient manner as possible, thus avoiding any “wind up” or any indirect punching trajectory.  Finally, try to drive with your legs in order to generate power.  I cannot emphasis enough the importance of keeping your shoulders loose, (almost as if they are “unhinged”) and quickly accelerating the punch hard through the final six inches or so of its arc.    

While throwing the uppercut, be sure to keep your opposite hand up to protect your chin and always recoil after throwing any punch to the defensive starting position.  Work on uppercut bags in the gym and concentrate on bending your knees slightly, dipping into the punch, and exploding up and through, generating power at contact much like you would a golf or baseball swing (maximum force at the point of impact). 

So that concludes our brief overview on the four main types of punches that makeup the boxer’s arsenal.  Next we will look at putting these punches together and work on developing combinations that will take you from a one punch wonder to a punch landing machine.       


Common Combinations

Effective combination punching is one of the skills that separate the good fighters from the average fighters.  After all, the goal in boxing is to land more punches that your opponent, and what better way to do that than to work through a series of punches thrown at premeditated intervals.  Think Sugar Ray Leonard flurrying as the round ticks to a close, his hands a blur, as he works fervently to  steal the last thirty seconds of a closely contested round.  Punching well in combinations gives you a distinct advantage over your adversary and puts you well on the road to becoming a much more complete fighter, capable of inflicting damage in a multitude of ways.  

Just like billiards, you want to think ahead and put yourself into the best possible position for your ensuing shots.

  • 1-2 -By far the most common combination punch is the 1-2 or the jab followed by the straight.  Work on flicking the jab, at different angles, and at different speeds, to vary your attack ala Tommy Hearns, and then shoot the straight hard after you have lulled your opponent into a sense of complacency.  The 1-2 is a good combination because it can be thrown quickly and does not leave you exposed for an extended period of time.  Just remember, straight out and straight back.  The straight should be started as the jab is returning to its starting position.  If you throw this quickly, and tuck your chin into your right shoulder, you can get off a couple quick shots before your opponent has an opportunity to counter.


  • 1-2-3- The 1-2-3 is basically just a continuation of the 1-2, expect you bring the hook around to finish off the three punch combination.  The hook takes a little more time to develop, so your overall time spent exposed is greater, however, this three punch jewel keeps defenders off balance, and your natural position after throwing the straight is perfect for the follow up hook.  Sometimes fighters will throw the 1-2 then bend at the knees, pause briefly, and explode up with the hook after return fire has been avoided (another effective variation).             


  • Double, Triple Jab- This is an effective combination for shorter fighters looking to close distance from the outside, as well as longer fighters who want to keep an opponent at bay.  The key is timing and variation.  If you continually throw two jabs, or throw them according to the same cadence, your opponent will eventually figure out the timing and counter accordingly. Work on throwing the jab, pulling it back about half way and throwing it again, before bringing it all the way back to its starting position.  


  • Uppercut, Hook- A lot of fighters (Evander Holyfield being one) used to throw the uppercut-hook when he was on the inside against a taller fighter.  Just imagine a taller opponent crouched at the waist, hovering over a smaller guy.  After rattling his cage with a short, jolting, uppercut, your body is in a natural position to bring a hook through right after, and potentially even a cross to finish.  The bottom line is you are always looking for ways to put punches together that compliment the positioning of the body after the preceding punch.  You want to throw the uppercut with one hand and hook with the opposite.  Be sure to practice this combination during your shadow boxing routines.    


  • Double Hook- The double left or right hook is effective during in-fighting scenarios as another way to vary your attack and avoid predictability, much the way Tyson and Frazier used to launch multiple hooks on the inside.  Often the benefit of throwing combination hooks is that an opponent looking to counter the first hook will not anticipate the second one, thus increasing your chances of landing it successfully.  When throwing a double left hook, you want to bend your left knee slightly, dip your upper body to the left, and turn the hook over, snapping it over the top.  Once the punch has landed, pull back just enough to create some punching power, and then quickly throw another hook in succession.       


  • Hook Down, Hook Up- Once again I must turn to Frazier as my example for how to effectively demonstrate a double left hook, this time thrown first as a hook to the body, and then as a hook to the head.  Frazier, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Mickey Ward all threw debilitating hooks to the body, but they also knew enough to capitalize on an opponent who carried his hands low to avoid further punishment to the body.  Obviously, if the hands come down, then the chin is left exposed, and if you can quickly put two hooks together, one up and one down, you stand a good chance of landing a clean effective shot on the follow up.         


  • Straight, Hook- This is essentially part 2-3 of the 1-2-3.  However, the difference is that this combination works well against southpaw-orthodox matchups.  The most effective tool in dealing with a southpaw is the straight right hand.  This combination works off of the straight and gives you an opening with the hook if your opponent is circling to his right.  In addition, this combination can be thrown as a variation to the standard 1-2-3.  Fighters like Roy Jones Jr. used to have tremendous success feinting with the jab and then throwing the straight-hook combo.  Your opponent is looking for the jab to lead, and sometimes you can catch him in a moment of lapsed concentration.       


  • Hook off the Jab- This actually is one of my favorite combinations, and if set up well, can land over and over again.  First, you want to mix in some double jabs and some 1-2 combos in order to get your opponent comfortable with seeing the jab and straight.  However, just as they begin to anticipate your lack of creativity, you turn off the jab and roll it into a hook.  I have seen Wladimir Klitschko use this technique a number of times, as his opponent readies himself for the right hand, he is instead hit with a hook he did not see coming.  After the hook you can then follow up with the traditional straight.  Work on jabbing, and immediately turning the hand over and converting it to hook all in one motion.  It likely will not land with as much power, but a punch landed is still a punch landed.   


Defense and Countering

OK, this is what sets the professionals apart from guys throwing haymakers in bars and back alleys.  Defense is the key to boxing, and if you can make a guy miss and force him off-balance, you can create openings for your own offensive opportunities.  A subtle slip or roll, or the catching of a punch off the gloves, can put you in a position that facilitates counter punching.  So now let us take a look at some components of a solid defensive foundation, and how they can be used to turn your opponents’ aggression against him. 


  • Slip, Block, Roll, Move- There are basically four ways to avoid getting hit.  You can use head movement to slip incoming punches, you can block or parry them with your gloves, you can step away from danger using some nimble footwork, or you can simply roll your head and body away from the incoming punches to lessen their impact.  The first method, slipping, leaves your hands free to counterpunch and provides you with an opportunity to return fire from different angles.  Unfortunately, this method of defense is only effective against punches coming in straight such as the jab or cross.  Mike Tyson was the master of slipping his head from one side to the other in order to avoid incoming jabs and work his way inside.  When the opponent’s jab is thrown, try and slip to the outside of their power hand by bending your knees and allowing the punch to safely pass by.  For example, if facing an orthodox fighter you want to try and slip to your right and set up a counter jab, a right hook to the body, or a right cross over the top of the jab.  Against the straight right you want to move in the opposite direction, sliding your head to the left as the right hand misses to the inside.  With practice, you will be able to anticipate your opponent’s movements, and as your reflexes develop, you will almost begin to see things before they happen.  Working with a partner using focus mitts is a good way to develop your ability to successfully avoid punches using only head movement, while also learning to work on your countering.  You can also work on bending your knees and crouching slightly to avoid hooks, which is similar to slipping, although the head tracks up and down rather than side to side.  For example, if your opponent throws a left hook, you want to duck it and turn your body to the right (the direction the punch came) in order to set up a counter right hook of your own.  Joe Frazier was a master at ducking punches in this manner and setting himself up to return fire.  The good news is that hooks are often easier to identify, and with some practice on the focus mitts, you will learn how to duck and throw more efficiently, and capitalize on an opponent in a defenseless state. 


The next defensive tactic to refine is that of blocking, or parrying.  Blocking is exactly what it sounds like; it is the catching of your opponent’s punches with your gloves and arms.  While parrying, on the other hand, is a bit more of a refined skill, as it includes the deflecting of incoming punches using your gloves to push the punches one way or another to avoid them from landing cleanly.  Blocking is probably the most common way to prevent the consequences of getting hit flush.  From time to time you will hear this defensive-first style referred to as “wearing earmuffs,” as guys who employ this technique get so fixated on blocking punches that they fail to look for openings in which they can land their own counter shots.  The problem with a blocking only style of defense is that even if you get a glove up to block an incoming hook, you are still absorbing the effect of the punch to some extent, even if it is at a reduced degree of impact.  Getting hit “through the gloves” can still take its toll after twelve rounds of boxing, which is why if you can work on altering the path of punches being thrown at you instead of just getting a hand up to absorb their impact, you will be better off over the duration of the fight. 

One technique to work on is the “catch and fire method,” which involves meeting your opponents punches with your gloves before they land and quickly sneaking counter shots in before your opponent has had time to reset his defense.  Otherwise known as reaction punching, this takes excellent reflexes and hand speed, but is useful against a fighter who gets lazy about bringing his punches back in quickly.  If you can, try to have a partner put on the focus mitts and throw some jabs while you practice “catching” the punch with your right hand, and quickly return a straight right hand to the opposite mitt positioned head high.                   

Lastly, there are some fighters that employ “the Philly Shell” method of blocking punches, which involves crossing the arms, with the lead hand lower to protect the torso, and the dominant hand about eye level able to catch straight punches with the palm of the glove, and hooks with the backside.  This defensive posture provides you with excellent positioning from which to throw counter punches, but requires good hand speed and timing to pull off.  Fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. use this technique because of the countering opportunities it provides. The key to this defense is to not square up with your opponent, but rather tuck your chin into your shoulder and give him less of a target to hit.  As the name implies, you are in a sort of “shell,” however, you still retain the ability to punch out of it quite effectively.

The next defensive technique is the roll, which if executed correctly, can diminish the force of an incoming blow.  You have heard the phrase “rolling with punches” before, and fighters like Roberto Duran and James Toney excelled at utilizing this technique to lessen the power of a punch at its point of contact. This type of defense involves turning your body away slightly from the punch as it approaches so as to not get hit with the full force of the blow.  After all, it is much better to get caught with a shot moving away than it is to get caught coming forward. In most cases this defense is used in conjunction with more stationary styles.  Guys looking to come in and land are usually willing to take a few shots in order to land a couple of their own, and this defensive style, along with the Philly Shell, are two ways that can minimize the damage a fighter sustains as he looks to create offensive openings for himself.    

Finally, the last method of avoiding any undue punishment is simply using your footwork to take yourself out of punching range.  When he was young, Muhammad Ali was incredibly skilled at using ring movement to keep his opponents off balance and ensuring that he danced outside the periphery of danger.  Just remember to keep your hands up at all times and let your feet take you where you need to go rather than simply pulling back with your head.  Countless fighters have been knocked down or knocked out while attempting to pull back in a straight line as they avoided an opponent’s hook, only to find out later that they did not succeed.  Solid footwork is a key component to any boxer’s arsenal, although maneuvering yourself out of harm’s way also puts you at a disadvantage in terms of positioning as you look to land counter shots of your own.       


Putting It All Together

Boxing is not an exact science.  There is not one magic formula that will translate to victory in every situation.  You must study each opponent independently and develop a fight plan according to your strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses.  Former heavyweight great Jack Dempsey once said, “Each man has a weakness.  You have to find that weakness and fight along those lines.”  Some fighters will be taller.  Will you try to stay at range and box them from the outside?  Or will you try to double up the jab, slip punches coming in, and make it a contest of in-fighting?  How about a fighter that bum rushes you early on and tries to overwhelm you with a volume of punches and aggression?  Try to stay calm, do not get into a slugging match, and have confidence in your defensive and countering training.  Someone who comes in swinging wildly leaves plenty of opportunity to be countered, and remember too that no one has the endurance to sustain that level of intensity over the duration of an entire fight.  If you just use your head (not literally) and wait for the storm to die down, you will eventually find that a number of favorable countering opportunities will present themselves.  If you are a taller fighter, use that to your advantage and work on the outside, utilizing your longer reach to control distance with your jab.

If you are a speed guy, you will want to work on giving your opponent angles, turning him constantly, and moving constantly so as not to present a stationary target.  You want to get in, fire off some combinations, and then retreat, always remembering to circle away from your opponent’s dominant hand.  The bottom line is that boxers come in all different shapes and sizes, and your physical characteristics will partially determine whether you fight as a pure boxer, a slugger, or a volume puncher; just like your opponents’ physical characteristics will determine how you choose to craft a strategy to defeat him. 

Boxing is essentially a matter of distance and timing.  You have to close the distance, get your shots off, and then either get out of the danger zone, cover up, pivot and move your head out of harm’s way, or clinch on the inside.    A lot of people do not fully understand the benefit of a well timed clinch, but it can be a great way to neutralize your opponent’s offensive ability on the inside.  Muhammad Ali was the king of punching and grabbing.  He relied on this technique numerous times during his battles with Joe Frazier, as he would catch Joe coming in and then tie him up immediately before he could mount a counter attack. 

Just remember that if you are close enough to be hit, you must also be prepared to be hit.  Always remain committed to developing and enhancing your defensive skills and learn to recognize openings, or patterns in your opponents’ rhythm, that you can take advantage of.  One way to disrupt an opponent’s timing is by feinting him into thinking you are about to throw one punch, and then delivering another while his hands are scrambling to defend against the initial threat.  For example, after throwing a series of jabs, you may want to feint your opponent into thinking another jab is coming by “pump faking” the jab and throwing a lead right instead.  This will upset the rhythm that you have initially established and will cause your opponent to predict, incorrectly, the punch that is being thrown. This is just one more tool that you can utilize to help make you a more well rounded and less predictable boxer, and one that will keep your opponent one step behind your every move.   

So far, we have learned a little about the boxing stance, the standard punches, the defensive techniques, and suitable counter punches over a variety of scenarios.  While this bit of introductory knowledge will not make you a world champ overnight, it does provide you with a basic set of fundamentals that you can work towards developing over time.  By honing your skills on the heavy bag, the speed bag, and the double end bag, you will develop your punching technique, your hand eye coordination, your reflexes, and your conditioning.  In time, you will learn to appreciate the finer points of the sport, and whether you decide to go forward with a career in competitive boxing, or whether you are simply looking to achieve unprecedented levels of fitness, the information provided herein will serve you well on your personal enrichment journey through the immensely gratifying and rewarding sport of boxing.         



The final piece of the boxing equation, and perhaps the most important one, is the matter of personal conditioning.  You can be as knowledgeable as a hall of fame trainer, but if don’t have the endurance and stamina to execute your strategy over twelve rounds of intensely fought action; you are not ready for the ring.  To be successful in boxing you must combine equal parts skill and training with equal parts heart and desire.  Obviously, learning to apply the tools of the boxing trade is important, but without the confidence cultivated through hours spent in the gym and on the road, the knowledge is worthless.  You must condition your body to endure the rigors of training or your mind will always have doubt.  That is why the greatest fighters always enter the ring in top physical condition, secure in the knowledge that their work ethic in training has prepared them to overcome the cowardly consequences of fatigue.  It is never easy, and there are no shortcuts, but a committed boxer is one of the most finely tuned athletes in the world.  If you would like to claim inclusion into this noble association of warriors, you must first familiarize yourself with the following components of the boxing regimen, and then dedicate hours upon hours to developing the physical and mental constitution of a champion.

  • Roadwork (Endurance)
  • Roadwork (Interval)
  • Punch mitts
  • Heavy bag
  • Speed bag
  • Double end bag
  • Body Shield
  • Floor exercises
  • Strength Training
  • Jumping rope
  • Medicine ball exercises
  • Flexibility
  • Plyometrics

A professional fighter in training camp is one of the most highly motivated and committed of all athletes.  In preparation for a fight, boxers will routinely rise at dawn to perform their roadwork (usually a distance of between 5-6 miles), and then undergo an additional 3-4 hour session during the afternoon, in which a sampling of the above exercises are performed.  A mixture of endurance, strength, interval, and plyometric training all coalesce to produce the perfect combination of explosive power and stamina.  A boxer’s workout is specifically engineered to extract unwanted body fat, while simultaneously allowing for the addition of lean muscle mass and reactive power, a fact that is almost a contradiction in terms. There is, however, a definite science to the insanity, and it is crucial that you receive the proper instruction on periodization schedules, rest, and how best to turn strength into power, if you intend to get the most out of your hard earned training.  The good news is that is does not require six hours a day six days a week to obtain fantastic results.  In as little as three days a week, from 30-60 minutes at a time, you can begin to build a fighter’s physique that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. 

So good luck to all, whether you harbor world championship aspirations, or you are simply interested in building self confidence and developing mental and manual dexterity through elite level fitness, you simply cannot do better than to follow in the footsteps of some of history’s most decorated champions.

If you would like more information on how to design your own six week training camp routine, or you think you have what it takes to take on the Neutral Corner Boxing & Fitness Six Week Plan please click on the link below, to begin experiencing the transforming powers of the world’s oldest sporting profession.


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