So you want to know how to become a boxer, eh? Boxers must be dedicated to the sport, with clear goals in mind. Still, there are very good reasons to take up boxing. Some people find that learning to throw a strong, solid punch makes them feel confident and capable. Others enjoy the rhythm of an all-out physical effort. To find greatness in any sport takes hard work and dedication, but to do it while getting beat up is a special challenge that boxers face.
If you are ready to dedicate the next year of your life to relentless daily training and unending bruises, then boxing may be for you. The first step in becoming a boxer is to join a boxing club. From there, you have six months to one year of hard training ahead of you before you are ready to call yourself a boxer. So be sure you mean it when you decide this is what you want.
Choosing the Right Club
Choose a boxing club that is affiliated with USA Boxing. You are not looking for a health club that trains people in boxing workouts. You want a real boxing gym that trains fighters. Only here will you find the trainer that can turn you into the next great fighter.
When you find the club you would like to try, talk to the trainer. The trainer will explain the rules of the gym to you, the fees and the hours the gym is open. You will want to ask the trainer about his or her personal boxing experience as well. You will need a competent trainer who knows how to tailor a fitness and strategic plan to help you reach your goals. A good trainer knows how to match you in sparring with a fighter that will challenge you but also help you develop confidence in boxing skills.
At the gym, you will quickly learn the basics of boxing including footwork, balance, movement and rhythm. You will learn punches like the jab, hook, and uppercut along with combination punches. Lessons will be given in positioning and defensive moves. In addition to boxing fundamentals, you will begin your physical training. Part of this will include circuit training, mirror training, shadow boxing, heavy bag punching, speed bag punching, jump rope and strength training. You will learn diet, when and how to train and stretching to minimize injuries.
Training to become a boxer requires intense focus and a daily commitment. Exercises are geared to develop muscles in the neck, shoulders, chest, upper arms and legs. Gym workouts are done three to four times a week and consist of a two hour routine. The boxer will do 20 minutes of sit-ups and pushups to strengthen the arms and abdominal muscles. He or she will then ride a bike for 20 minutes and then jog for 30 minutes. The boxer will then spend about 10 minutes with a jump rope and finally 10 minutes sparring with either a punching bag or with a live person.
Become an Amateur Boxer
While there are no laws that say you must become an amateur boxer before moving onto professional boxing, to skip this step is almost suicidal. Amateur boxing allows you to learn the fighting techniques the professionals use while wearing protective gear to ensure you do not end up in a brain injury clinic. Learning to protect yourself is a big part of boxing and this is best learned in the amateur ring.
You will need to visit the USA Boxing website to locate your local amateur boxing organization. You then simple fill out an application to join and undergo a physical examination from your doctor. There will be many unsanctioned boxing events you can participate in through boxing gyms that will allow you to gain some initial fighting experience. These fights will not count towards you record, but they are an excellent place to start.
When you feel ready to enter the ring for real, you can find your first amateur fight. You will be matched according to your age group and class, which begins as “novice”. You will move on to local tournaments that will help you climb the boxing ranks as you win fights. You can work towards both the U.S. Boxing Team with the Olympics as a goal and compete in the U.S. Amateur Championships.
Becoming a Professional Boxer
To become a professional boxer, you will need a good boxing manager with connections to professional matchmakers. You will be matched with a fighter in your class that is likely to produce a challenging fight. 10% of your income will go to the manager and you will also have to pay the matchmaker. The goal is to have a good record of wins to losses, but the fights must also be challenging.
You will need to join a professional boxing association (IBF, WBO, WBC, WIBF) and there will be membership fees. You will have to get a boxer’s license from the boxing commission where you will be fighting. It is also good to read trade publications regularly to keep up on the business of boxing. Remember that boxing is more than just a sport. It is a money making business and a form of entertainment.
No matter which boxing association you join, your goal will be to become the World Champion. Each organization has its own championship in each division. From there you may challenge World Champions in other associations to become the Unified Champion for both organizations. To hold titles in three organizations, you will become a Super Champion. All four belts would make you the Undisputed Champion. Of course, this ultimate goal is a long way from stepping into the gym and beginning your training.