The Rules of Love and Boxing

Boxing Gloves Heart - Alfonso Aap
Photo by Alfonso Aap/Deviant Art

Round By Round Boxing is excited to present a special treat for all the lovers and fighters on this Valentine’s Day.

Leann Perez gives us her take on the parallels that exist between boxing and love, in particular her marriage with boxer, Manny “Manos” Perez.

Read on for the five rules of love and boxing.

1. The Fight is Won in Training


In this case, the fight symbolizes the relationship and the dedication it takes to maintain a positive and healthy romance. Loving relationships aren’t forged online or in the public eye, just like champions aren’t made over night. Love must be nurtured and worked on when no one is watching.

In 2011, between trainers and between gyms, there were very little options for Manny. But a fight opportunity came up and it couldn’t be passed up–the chance to fight for a title at home.

So in preps for this fight, I stood by my husband’s side and helped train him. Counting punches in our cold, concrete gym; wiping on grease in between rounds for sparring and taking him up the mountains to run.

Six days a week we were on beast mode. Manny entered the fight confident and determined.

He out worked his opponent for eight deadly rounds. As his opponent went to his corner for Round 9, he never came back out. The belt was placed around Manny, but raised up by both of us as it was a belt we both worked hard for.


2. No Low Blows


Boxing, like a loving relationship, requires mutual respect.

There are written–and unwritten–rules that one must abide by in order to flourish in the ring and in a loving relationship–even when things get ugly.

We don’t fight much, but when we do we keep it respectful.

No one is perfect, so it’s bound to happen sometimes, but a good fight doesn’t need to go for the knockout.

We have learned to express our opinions and find middle ground, ending the fight in a draw.

3. Good Balance is Key


Just like in the ring, balance in a relationship can be the difference between failure and success.

I’ve never been the wife who doesn’t support her husband or asked him to stop fighting. It was in that commitment that I fell in love with the sweet science and began writing and reporting.

For years I’ve cheered on my husband all around the country, now he cheers me on every time he reads an article or as I sit ringside covering a fight.

We support and encourage each other so we both can accomplish our goals and dreams. Both people in any relationship need to be happy and have something for their own, whether it’s a career or hobby. And you must support their wishes.

4. The Importance of a Good Corner


Perhaps the most striking similarity between love and boxing is this: finding someone who will be in your corner, no matter the circumstance, is priceless.

A good support system helps to motivate you and is always there to help you get up when you’ve been knocked down.

In 2009 Manny had the opportunity to face Brandon Rios for their rematch in Corpus Christi, Texas. The first fight was a draw and now Rios would have his chance to avenge the first flaw on his perfect record.

It was then that my husband and his team asked if I would be the second in his corner. Honored and scared, I said yes of course.

The rounds flew by, it seemed like they only lasted about 30 seconds before we had to jump in the ring again.

Most people say marriage is through thick and thin, I think for us it’s through the blood and sweat, as I literally wiped all that off each time he came back to the corner.

5. Protect Yourself at All Times

Boxing - Bjorn Van Driessche
Photo by Bjorn Van Driessche

In the squared circle, you never put your guard down. You must protect yourself at all times. With a good love and marriage, you protect not only yourself, but also your partner.

We’ve seen it all–rowdy fans, bar fights, disrespectful fighters–and we always protect each other.

Sure, Manny may have a better hook then me, but I’d throw one against anybody if I had to protect my husband.

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