Boxing is Not About Money 2015-05-06
Millions of us forked over money, and perhaps more importantly, time and mental energy, to watch the uber-hyped Mayweather-Pacquiao fight last Saturday. Or should I say Sunday, as it was delayed nearly an hour and pushed into the A.M. due to cable companies’ challenges managing the high demand. In the declining sport of boxing, it was the biggest moment in decades. For many Americans, it was a considered a snoozer, proving frustrating to watch grown men hugging more frequently than exchanging power punches. The fight brought in a lot of money for a small group of people, but the widely-held conclusion that boxing is all about money is wrong.
To be clear, I'm talking about boxing, not professional boxing. I'm talking about the sport, not the business. I'm talking about the millions who hit the speed bag, battle the heavy bag, spar with friends (or enemies), or use boxing training techniques to get a workout. The sport of boxing is about anything but money.
In 2007, I made what seemed like a big mistake. In a fit of hubris, I signed up to participate in a charity boxing event, Philly Fight Night benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia. When I began training, I quickly realized how demanding boxing is as a workout. This was for a charity event, so all training was not even close to the real deal, but I was feeling it. We did a ton of core strengthening exercises, lots of all-out sprints, and hardest of all, we sparred. One day, I was sparring with a local Philly boxer who got the best of me and popped me in the temple. And to the ground I dropped. Fast. That was the end of training for me that day.
I fought in front of a raucous crowd of university students, and we raised tens of thousands of dollars for a great charity. I didn’t fare too well in the match. Thankfully, my brother is a talented producer and was able to edit the footage favorably for me.
Needless to say, I will never step into a ring to fight again. Most people who box use it as a fun way to improve their health and relieve stress. Most don't enter a ring to compete. Ever.
Boxing is a great workout and I highly encourage you to try it if you haven't. Here are just some of the reasons why boxing workouts kick butt.
How do you know it's working? You’re gasping to catch your breath and soaking in sweat within a few minutes. You will never question this cardiovascular challenge.
How do you make sure you maintain your balance if you get popped in the stomach? You clench your core… hard. Constantly working on building a sturdy core is key to handling body blows and maintaining the stability required to throw a solid punch.
When you have to block a punch, protect yourself, duck quickly, or move to change position, you better be coordinated. Your proprioception, or awareness of where parts of your body are relative to each other, will improve dramatically.
You Don’t Have to be Violent.
Just because it’s a sport that involves punching doesn’t mean that it entails a violent workout. For starters, you don't have to be punched and you don't have to hit others. Most boxing workouts do not involve the type of contact you see in the ring. There’s plenty to do without trying to punch someone’s lights out.
As they say, “your mind will give up before your body.” Anyone who’s endured a tough workout knows exactly what that means: your body’s ability to continue moving, bobbing, weaving, and jabbing will surprise you. Boxing will push your body and mind to the limit, because getting through a tough round or a tough workout requires mental fortitude. As HBfit.com and boxing workout fan Hannah Bronfman said, “I love boxing because it’s the only thing that calls for 100 percent of my focus. If your head is somewhere else, then no doubt you’ll get hit.”
Boxing is about many things, including stamina, toughness, ingenuity, persistence, and patience. So, please don’t fall into the trap that boxing is just about money, because it’s not.
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