Why defence work is just as important as offence work in boxing1 February, 2014
It is essential that if you want a long term career in boxing to be as sharp on defence as it is on offence. Too many fighters today seem to have forgotten this and many trainers aren’t pushy enough to make their fighters perfect it as it seems the “in thing” is to hold your hands low and try to look stylish, bobbing and weaving all over the place, but are you putting your boxing career in jeopardy because you are trying to follow in the steps of Mayweather for example? Not many people nowadays are using their best asset and hence are taking brutal punishment and taking years off their career and you never recover from the punishment you take. But, the fans love it, so you have to make a choice…neglect and endanger your health and shorten your career (which you love) for the sake of other people or have a longer more productive career and use your defences.
Boxing is a brutal business and I tell my pupils all the time that just because we are boxing doesn’t mean we have to get hit. It is also about self protection and I think people forget that boxing is a thinking sport, it’s like a chess game, trying to outmanoeuvre your opponent physically and mentally. Constantly watching their reactions, habitual movements and capitalising on them, while keeping yourself from taking too many heavy shots. YES you are going to take punches but why take more than you need to just because you want to look stylish?
REMEMBER NOT EVERYONE CAN HAVE THE MOVEMENT OF MAYWEATHER, create your own style, punish your opponent but don’t take unnecessary punishment back, be wise and use the art of defence, it’s as beautiful as having amazing offence prowess.
We are not invincible as fighters and if you take a big shot, all that hard work you have put in can all go down the drain if your defence isn’t good, just for the sake of putting effort into your guard, slips and rolls. It’s important because it takes a great, great fighter to come back from being knocked out and although I have NEVER been knocked down in my fight career, trust me I have had firsthand experience of being ‘out on my feet’ and feel like I am fighting in another dimension, it’s not nice and you lose some of your capability and proficiency, which gives an advantage to your opponent plus it takes a strong fighter to be able to carry on and fight when you feel like that, and my defence work is great, I spent hours and hours daily in front of a mirror and shadow boxing working on it to perfect it and I still took some big heavy shots. So, if you don’t work on your defence as much as your offence, how can you expect to have a long career?
I fought for over 6 years in Kickboxing and then over 10 years in Professional boxing, eight of my fights were 10 rounder’s and I fought in three different weight categories, I have lost some fights, I’ve avenged some, sometimes I haven’t had the opportunity to avenge fights but one thing I know is that I’ve taken care of myself throughout my career and hence why I still have my marbles and faculties intact (well some people may oppose that ha ha but I was like that before I started to box). My ex trainer Adam Booth schooled me on being a defensive expert; you can’t take the chance of getting knocked out and badly hurt as you have a life to live after boxing too as well as trying to get the most out of your boxing career. I’m not saying fight so that you’re scared to get hit as my fights were full on at times but approach the fight with the right mindset of having both skills at their maximum and what happens, happens. BE PREPARED!!