The guy who gets Pacquiao and GSP ready for their fights has a few boxing tips for you. You may want to listen.
Start With The Fundamentals
“You start somebody out with the basics, the basic fundamentals. Boxing is very complicated, so there are a lot of different lessons to be learned, but eventually, you’ll get through all of them. You’ll be in the gym at least six months before you get in the ring to spar.”
Best Foot Forward
“Footwork is very important- you have to be on balance at all times, so it’s very important to teach that first. We’d work with a new boxer in the ring, in the mirror and so forth and get that balance, get the feet working together with each other. You can’t cross your feet – that’ll get you in a lot of trouble.”
“Next would be the hands, getting the hands and feet working together and just working on being in the right position. When you throw your punches, being in the right position is essential. Shadow boxing is very important at first, then you go to the heavy bag, then the mid - it’s a process where you give a little more each lesson. You work on offense first, then you work on defense.
“Strength training is good, but coordination and balance is more important in boxing. Weight lifting doesn’t really improve a boxer’s punching ability - if you have the right technique down, you’ll be a much better puncher than somebody who’s just muscular. Balance and proper technique is the best way to learn how to punch correctly: Once you learn how to get your full weight behind a punch, you’ll be able to punch a lot harder. It’s basically the transfer of weight from the right hand to the left hook - on the straight right hand, you punch off of the back foot, on the hook you punch off the front foot, so it’s all about transferring the weight back and forth.”
“Endurance is one of the key points, which is why you start with conditioning and running. It’s very, very important - probably one of the worst places in the world to get tired is the boxing ring. We start off with flat runs, but we try to keep a variety of runs so it doesn’t get boring – you’ve got your flat runs, you’ve got your hill runs, you’ve got your swimming workouts, and then you have your track workouts, so we mix it up quite a bit. Some people like swimming, some people don’t, so you’ve got to find out what they’re happy with. Manny Pacquiao likes to run in the hills every other day, while on sparring days he does flat runs, and on non-sparring days he does hill runs.”
“Diet is very important. Most boxers burn a lot of carbs, and we need the protein for longevity, so you need a good, balanced diet. We sometimes hire a nutritionist to do the diets for the fighters - Georges St-Pierre gets all his meals sent to him daily for a very healthy, complete diet, just a little bit of everything. Most of the guys that are on good diets are on five small meals a day, no heavy meals and so forth. It makes making weight a lot easier.”
Make Sure Someone Has Your Back
“I recently went to Prague to shoot a commercial for Jägermeister’s “A Brother In Your Corner” campaign. It’s all about protecting your friends if you’re going out drinking with them: Drink responsibly, and take care of your friends. It’s the same thing in the boxing world - I had a tough fight this weekend and I was taking care of my fighter in the ring. One’s a lot more casual than the other - the boxing ring is a lot tougher place, but the basics are the same.”
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