|If you've been reading
our letters for some time, maybe you've been working out and working
with a trainer and have some interest in stepping in the ring for
some sparring. Here are some things to keep in mind as you step in
In the Ring Tip #1: Find a partner who is on a
similar skill level.
If you are going to spar, try to spar with someone
that is at your own skill level. Sometimes beginners are thrown in
the ring with veteran fighters who aren't willing to "take it
easy" on the new boxers; breaking them in, so to speak. This is
not to say you should only spar with someone at or below your skill
level; you will want to be challenged.
When you do spar with someone with more
experience, make sure it's with someone who isn't going to use you
for a punching bag and knock you around the ring. Make sure every
aspect is a positive experience. Sparring should be highly
controlled learning sessions. Often your coach or trainer will be
aware of potential sparring partners who will complement your
training while reducing the risk of you getting hurt.
In The Ring Tip #2: Make sure your work
If you are a beginner amateur boxer, practice
throwing 3 punch combinations. For example, throw a jab to the
stomach, which may force your opponent to drop an arm to guard
himself, then a quick jab to the forehead. Then quickly and
powerfully throw a straight right to the chin. Your first punch is
bait to open up for a two-punch assault.
Many professional boxers use four punch
combinations, but 3-punch combos are a good place to start. Punches
In the Ring Tip #3: BREATHE!
Many boxers new to sparring hold their breath
during their sparring sessions or fights. The working muscles need
oxygen to function. You should practice exhaling when you throw a
punch. This also helps a lot if your opponent counters with a blow
to the midsection because a blow to the body with your lungs full of
air can be very painful. It will tighten your core and you'll be
able to bear the brunt of a midsection punch better.
Focus on having a natural breathing rhythm. If
you've trained properly, your breathing should almost return to
normal during the one-minute rest between rounds.
In the Ring Tip #4: Give it your all in the
When training in the ring, work as though you are
training for a championship fight! Give it your all. Are you
training harder than your opponent? What you do in the gym is a
reflection of how you'll perform in the ring when it really matters.
Step into the ring confident that you've trained
as hard as you possibly can. Muhammad Ali once said "I run on
the road long before I dance under the lights".