Ask every sports fan what their favorite sport is and you will be met with a hundred different responses. Ask a sports fan what sport produced the best athlete and you are likely to here another hundred different answers. If, however, you ask people what the toughest sport is and you may just get quite a few people agreeing on boxing being the toughest sport to play.
The Toughest Sport?
There are many sports that are pretty tough on sportsmen in terms of training and competition, including American football, rugby, long distance running and weigh-lifting, and every fan will claim that the sport they love is the toughest.
Every boxer will tell you that the beloved sport that they have chosen to enter into is a massive challenge. Not only do boxers need to be light on their feet and packed full of strength.
A fighter needs to balance of speed, strength, and durability. He must also face the punishment inflicted by an opponent that has been chosen due to similar capabilities and weight, so he knows that his fight will not be easy.
Why Boxing Is Tough
Whether you are simply looking to get fit or you are serious about starting up boxing, this is a sport that has something for almost everyone. There is no pressure to develop your skills to levels beyond your capabilities, but there are certainly few obstacles if you decide to do so.
Boxing, for many, becomes more than just a sport and is seen as a lifestyle, with regular fitness grimes, diets and competitions taking over life as you knew it before boxing.
Boxing needs your body to use muscles from all over, not just the arms. From your trapezius to your deltoids, when boxing you will use all of your upper body when fighting. The legs play an important role in carrying your body around the ring and help you escape your opponent as you duck and slide.
Your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes work together to help you lunge in and out, and add power to your punches. A punch uses power that is generated from as low as your calves so working on your calves will ultimately give you more power as you hop around the competition ring.
Theodore Roosevelt regarded boxing,
“Whether professional or amateur, as a first-class sport.”
In his 1913 memoir, he described how as New York police commissioner he uncovered
“the establishment of a boxing club in a rough part of town always tended to do away with knifing and gun-fighting among the young fellows who often got mixed up with the wrong crowd.”
The key was to give potential law-breakers something positive to do. “Many of these young fellows were not naturally criminals at all, but they had to have some outlet for their activities.”
Roosevelt objected to the “brutalizing” business of boxing, not to boxing itself.
“I shall always maintain that boxing contests themselves make good, healthy sport,”
he says in An Autobiography.
Boxing is one of the most well known sports across the world and it is also one of the oldest sports in history. From its emergence in ancient Greece, through early 18-century England where it was considered the “gentle” art of self defense, and an introduction of the Marquess of Queensbury rules, boxing has continually been tweaked and has had a lot of money thrown at it to make it the sport it is today.
Facing the Fear
There is much more to a boxer than just learning how to punch harder than your opponent. Boxers will need to be aware of EVERYTHING that is happening in the ring and behind the scenes, in order to face the fear and become the best that he or she can be.
Famous boxing coach Ray Arcel once asked one of his boxer’s “What is your best weapon?” The boxer said , “My left hook.” “No,” replied Arcel. The boxer paused for a moment and replied, “Then my left jab, because it sets up all of my other punches.” Arcel again shook his head no. “Then what?” the boxer asked. Arcel pointed to his head to give the correct answer. “Boxing” he said, “is brains over brawn. I don’t care how much ability you’ve got as a fighter. If you can’t think, your just another bum in the park.”
Boxing is a sport that can improve the confidence of even the most introvert of people. What could be greater than feeling physically and mentally inferior to someone only to find that with determination and hard work, you can develop the skills of somebody twice your size and strength. A great attitude makes a great fighter, which is what you need to tell yourself over and over.
Boxing, like many other sports needs the athlete to be very confident and knowledgable. All boxers will eventually be able to learn the necessary skills to compete at a serious level, once he has put the time and effort into practicing. No matter how much a fighter practices there is an element of a boxers touch of magic that is very personal to him and it is often this touch of magic that wins the fight.
Defining one sport as being the ultimate at producing the best athlete is very difficult in need, something which everyone has an opinion and will forever be debatable. Just because a boxer if fit and tough, does not make him the overall best athlete and just because he is good at boxing will not mean he can be the best at any other sport.
Everyone would agree that Muhammad Ali was a master in the art of boxing and that he is, arguably, the greatest boxer that ever lived. To achieve such a high status boxers like Ali need to ensure that they achieve in four main skill sets.
- Intellect – boxing is as much about the brain as it is about the body
- Perception – the ability to analyze information and interpret it
- Motor Skills – how best to control movements
- Perceptual-motor skill – How best to adapt and move to things around us
The average time to master such skills is said to take over 10,000 hours, but we can see it taking a whole lot longer than that.
Boxers have more versatile and more efficient punching techniques. Sure, there are karate fighters who can break bricks and MMA guys punch just as hard as any boxer, but the QUALITY of the punch is not the same.
A boxer’s punch is faster, less telegraphic, and can strike at so many different angles from so many different positions. And we don’t just throw one, we can unleash a barrage of 10…and we do it using far less energy than other fighters.
Overall, there are many skills that a boxer will develop over the cause of his or her career and it is not all about facing fears and throwing the hardest punches. Boxers is a sport in which athletes have to fight their fears as much as their opponents, which takes a lot more just physical training.
Entering the world of boxing can be a scary though and some people may be put off before they have even started. It is important to keep in mind that while boxing may look like a gruesome sport it is not all about throwing punches and hurting your opponent.
Boxing requires more skill and practice than almost every other contact sport, therefore it is as much about how your brain works as it is about how much power you can pack into your punch.
Undoubtably, boxing is a competitive sport and professional boxes must maintain a positive mental attitude in order to reach the top and stay at the top.
The media will portray boxers to be egotistical and over-confident, and while this may be true to a certain extent, all boxers must put their ego to onside in order to concentrate on their skills at hand.
Putting in hours on end of practice and planning how to win a fight keeps boxers brains fit and healthy and the ability to focus is so important. Boxers will often plan every aspect of the fight ahead and with this attitude they are able to see themselves through round after round of heavy fighting.
Boxing is about much more than brute force; to effectively attack your opponents, you must first master the right stance and punch techniques. Boxing’s popularity is rapidly falling in the U.S. and before we think that is more people understood the intricacies of boxing, rather than it simply being a brutish sport,we should begin to see a surge in people taking up the sport again. If you want to be the ultimate athlete then head to the ring, you know it’s good for you.