You may not know it until you start boxing training, but there are different ‘types’ of boxing. Some boxers are more focused on fitness, so it’s more about the cardio and full body training. At the other end of the spectrum are competitive boxers. They could train for amateur circuits or professional ranking. Amateur competitors wear vests and headgear. They earn points for punches landed, and there’s no extra credit for knock-outs.
The number of rounds per match differ as well, and the length of each round. Other differences involve ring size, foul rules, adjudication, and the role of the referee. Also, amateur boxers get ranked but they are rarely paid. In amateur comps, it’s more about earning points and avoiding fouls, because three fouls equal instant disqualification.
It’s all in your head
That said, strategic boxing technique is the same whether you’re getting fit or chasing trophies. The most critical strategy starts in the mind. Many boxers will tell you mental toughness is more important than physical ability. Get your mind right. It will help you push through exhaustion during those seemingly endless rounds in the ring or reps in the gym. It can also keep you standing when you’re facing a daunting opponent.
Don’t think about their physical stature, their fight stats, or their success. It doesn’t matter if you’re sparring with a pal or punching with the world champion. Keep your head in the game and remember that no matter the circumstances, your triple attack is universal. All you have to do is throw your punch, dodge their counter punch, and keep moving. When your muscles are aching, you feel defeated, and you want to run out of the ring, just remember those three things. Punch. Dodge. Move. That’s all you have to do.
Don’t forget to breathe
Exhale when you punch. You shouldn’t be huffing and puffing or grunting and roaring. Just a quick ‘punchy’ exhale. It focuses your rhythm, relaxes your stance, and puts power in the punch. You should do this both in the ring and while you’re sparring. When you’re dodging and moving, take deep relaxed breaths to build up your energy. Try to remain calm. Panicking saps your energy and drains your breath, so stay focused. Punch. Dodge. Move. Breathe. Keep your confidence levels up by developing your own rhythm.
As early as possible in the fight, identify your opponent’s dominant hand. This isn’t necessarily a right-handed or left-handed thing. It’s more of a ‘stronger punch’ thing, and most boxers have one. Spot it, then keep an eye on it. If you’re tracking their strong hand at all times, you can dodge it. Then even if they hit you with their weaker hand, it won’t do as much damage. At the same time, direct your own punches from your elbow, not your fist. That way, you hit with more power. Finally, even when you’re protecting your head, always have a clear line of sight to your opponent’s head or chest.