So, you have your P45 held proudly in hand after your last employer showed you the door and now you’re wondering what to do next in your career. Maybe your last job didn’t work out because your boss was a total idiot? Or maybe you simply needed to make a change in your working life? (Albeit a change that was enforced upon you by getting the sack). Whatever the reason for your current state of unemployment, have you ever considered becoming a world champion boxer? The pay is good and if you can, ‘roll with the punches,’ as it were; you’ll also become famous.
If hitting people whilst wearing skimpy looking shorts and knee high boots is your thing, here’s what you’ll need to do to become The Heavyweight Champion of the World:
Find a Club
You’ll need to find a proper boxing club that has a reputation for training successful fighters. Popping down to your local sports centre and joining the Over 65’s boxercise class once a week will not be sufficient. Remember, you’re looking to become world champion so you’ll need to seek out the club with the best facilities.
Have a chat with a trainer
It’s important that you get an idea of what you’re letting yourself in for before you sign up. Ask lots of questions and get a feel for your boxing club-elect. Try to find out what kind of training schedule they will provide. Who else will you be working with? What are the fees? If, after speaking to the trainer you don’t decide you’d prefer a less violent sport like golf or tennis – then maybe boxing really is for you.
Learn the basics
It’s a good idea to learn at least a little bit of boxing jargon before you start training with a coach so you don’t enter the ring thinking a, ‘jab,’ has more to do with medical injections and a, ‘hook,’ is something to hang your coat on.
Here is a quick list of boxing terms to get you started:
Jab – A punch thrown to the opponent’s chin with your leading hand. It’s the most commonly used punch in the sport and must be thrown in line with your forward foot or you won’t be spending much time on your feet at all.
Cross – This is your widow maker shot. The cross is thrown with your dominant hand and generates power by rotating the torso slightly. You can also generate even more force with the cross, by being cross when you hit someone – but as you can tell, no one at The W1nners’ Club has ever been anywhere near a boxing ring.
Uppercut – This punch is thrown at close quarters in an upward motion from the waist and can cause considerable damage if your opponent tends to box with their tongue sticking out – especially if you catch them on the chin.
Hook – A sideways punch delivered with the elbow sticking out so the arm forms a, ‘hook,’ shape.
NB – There is no such thing as a reverse hook where the elbow is used in the opposite direction. If you rely on this approach, your boxing career will be very short indeed.
As well as teaching you the basic boxing moves, your trainer will also help you develop endurance and agility. Your program will include heavy and speed bag punching, circuit training and jumping rope. You should also do some weight training and your condition can be augmented with core exercises and Yoga. That’s correct, you heard us right – we said Yoga!
Don’t forget to stretch
You’ll need to do about 20-30 minutes of dynamic stretching eg. Short stretches and rotating joints etc. before training. Afterwards, you should also do longer, static stretches to help reduce stiffness and injury (now do you see where the Yoga comes in?).
Watch that diet
Pro boxers all follow a strict nutrition programme. If you don’t eat well it will affect your performance in the ring. A boxer’s diet tends to be high in healthy proteins like chicken and fish. Healthy fats like olive oil and avocado are also good for boxing, so if you want to be the next Mike Tyson – it’s time to drop the Maccy D’s unfortunately.
Train your mind as well as your body
Being successful in boxing isn’t just about boxing well. Sure, you’ll need to be able to duck and weave gracefully to stand a chance of winning a title belt, but there are other activities you can take part in besides yoga to give yourself the best chance possible:
- Dance Classes – yes, we said it! Dancing is all about balance, agility and flexibility – important skills in boxing and you also never know if you’ll get asked to go on Strctly Come Dancing when your career finishes.
- Acting Classes. You may be required to do a HP sauce advert.
- An academic pursuit. You won’t be able to box forever and you’ll also need to be savvy with the cash you make. We suggest some study in the areas of business or sports management so that you have skills for a new career if Strictly don’t decide to come knocking. It will also give you the knowledge to prevent you parting with all your cash as a result of the shadier characters you will inevitably associate with.
Become an amateur boxer
You’ll have to undergo a medical examination before you’re good to go, but once you get the okay from the doctor, it’s simply a case of registering with the appropriate authorities.
Begin your career
The main difference between amateur boxers and professionals is that amateurs wear protective head gear to prevent dangerous injuries whilst you’re still developing. You’ll be placed against opponents according to weight, age and class – so don’t expect to be fighting Anthony Joshua straight away.
Get even fitter than you are already
Now that you’re on the circuit, you’re going to come up against some equally talented fighters who are just as hungry as you to become world champion. There’s still a whole lot more work you’ll need to put in to take your body to the next level – particularly with regard to endurance. By now however – you should be able to do the following:
- Run for 3-5 miles without stopping for a cigarette.
- Jump rope for 30 minutes without getting your legs tangled.
- Hit the heavy bag for 15 minutes without it flying back in your face and knocking you out.
- Be able to spar with any amateur regardless of how scary he looks.
- Be able to spar for double the required 3 rounds of amateur boxing
Get yourself a manager
A manager’s role is to look after your career by developing your reputation and putting you in touch with fight organisers. By this point there should be a little bit of money coming in however at least 20% of your earnings will go to your manager and fight promoter. Make sure you pick a manager you get along with and trust; as well as somebody that doesn’t endure permanent bad hair days like Don King.
IBF, WBC, WBO, WBA? There’s a whole plethora of boxing commissions you can join, hence the term, ‘alphabet soup,’ which we incidentally think would be a great name for new children’s breakfast snack!
Get to the top
It’s over to you now. With tireless effort and dedication you may end up with a championship belt. If you manage to win belts in three out of four associations, you’ll be classed as a, ‘Super Champion.’ If you manage to hold all four you’ll be classed as the, ‘Undisputed Champion.’ The main thing to remember on your way to the top is to avoid violent situations outside the ring now that you have the capacity to kick people’s asses. No court in the land will believe you if you say that somebody ran into your fist during an argument in a kebab shop at 3am in the morning – you’re the next world champion for goodness sake!