How to Become a Boxer

Find a boxing club

Your first step to becoming a boxer is to find a club to train at. Ideally, you should look for one that has some link to a larger boxing organization, or one that has produced professional boxers. 

If you are serious about becoming a boxer, you need to look for a specialized boxing or martial arts gym. A gym that offers boxing classes is simply not sufficient for the level of training you will need. 

Ideally, the gym you join will have members at a variety of skill levels. This will allow you to train in evenly matched sparring bouts as your skills develop. 

Learn the lingo

There are 7 basic terms that you should learn at the beginning of your boxing journey. These are jab, cross, uppercut, hoot, southpaw, outside fighter, and inside fighter. 

A jab is a chin punch using your dominant hand. A cross uses the same hand but involves more of an abdominal rotation to get more power behind your punch. 

An uppercut is a close range hit to the underside of your opponent’s chin. A hook comes from the side and you must keep your elbow out to one side. 

A southpaw is a term for a left-handed boxer, who will appear to do everything the opposite way. You will need to learn how to adapt your fighting style to accommodate for this.

Outside and inside fighters are terms for different boxing styles. Outside fighters tend to stay further away from their opponents, only coming close when they are making contact. Inside fighters remain closer to their opponent and often favor punches such as uppercuts. 

Train, train, and train some more

You will never become a good boxer without an intense training program. Do not go too overboard with your training regimen, as you need a day or two of rest to allow your body to recover. 

Not only will you need to work on your punching techniques and form, but you will also need to spend time working on your footwork. Training will allow you to build your positioning and defense skills. 

Endurance and agility are also vital skills for any aspiring boxer to work on. This means that your training program should not be limited to sparring. It should be all-inclusive and incorporate heavy bag work, pad work, circuit training, cardio, and weight training. 

You should ensure you incorporate around 20-30 minutes of dynamic stretching before a sparring match or training session. This is to prevent the risk of injuries being sustained and increase the mobility of your muscles.

Focus on your diet

Diet is just as important as training when it comes to boxing. We recommend contacting a nutritionist or boxing trainer with a specialism in nutrition to help you work out a food plan that is customized to your needs. 

Generally speaking, boxers will need a diet that is high in lean proteins and healthy fats. Suggestions include chicken, salmon, tuna, eggs, peanut butter, olive oil, avocado, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Your body needs sufficient fuel to provide energy for your training and to help your muscles recover afterward. 

Register as a boxer and find a fight

You should first find a local amateur boxing company. If you are based in America, a good place to begin is the USA Boxing website, as this gives you organization information sorted by state. 

You will then need to apply to your chosen organization and you are likely to need a doctor to give you a physical examination. This is to ensure that you are fit and well enough to fight, and is usually carried out through the State Athletic Commission. 

From the age of 8, you can fight in non-official boxing matches. These can be found through your boxing company. You are classed according to your age, weight, and fight record. These fights are good to gain experience, but will not appear on your record. 

Find a manager

If you wish to break into professional boxing, you will need a manager to help you.

These people are rife with connections that allow them to organize paid fights for you to appear in. This will help to build your reputation and will lead to better paid fights over time. 

Get a license

These are linked to professional boxing organizations such as the IBF, WBC, WBA, and the WBO. Depending on which you opt to fight in, you will need to gain a license from the same association. 

Different states have different requirements for joining. Some will require you to have amateur fighting experience whereas others will only accept you if you have a manager. 

Compete in professional fights

Once you have a manager and a license you can begin to compete in fights against other professional boxers. The aim of these matches is to eventually win a championship belt. 

Some boxers manage to win a championship belt from 3 out of the 4 main organizations - these people are known as ‘Super Champions’. The few boxers that manage to win all 4 championship belts earn the title of ‘Undisputed Champion’. 

Personal qualities that are desirable in a boxer

The biggest advantages that a boxer can have are speed and agility in the ring. This will allow you to outmaneuver your opponent and avoid sustaining hits.

Accuracy is another vital skill for boxers, which comes from repeated sparring practice and pad training. 

You will need to have a lot of explosive power thrown behind your punches. Again, this will mainly come through repetitive training. 

You will need to be determined and disciplined in all aspects of your life to succeed in the boxing industry. It is a long, hard slog to become a celebrated professional. You must stick to a rigorous training and diet regimen, as well as ensuring that you get enough rest. 

You will also need to be brave. Boxers need to take risks and trust your gut, reacting instinctively, and quickly to whatever happens.

Rayford Baxter
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