Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world, and considering it is something you can never truly master, the lessons the legends of the ring can teach youngsters are absolutely invaluable.
This post will go through the boxing and life lessons that young boxers can learn from boxing legends, and how most of your success doesn’t even happen in the ring.
One of the most famous quotes in boxing came from the Baddest Man on the Planet, Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.”
Nothing sums up boxing quite like that quote.
You can have any and every strategy prepared for a fight, know your opponent inside and out, know their strengths and weaknesses, but if you aren’t ready for that full strength punch to the jaw, it is all worthless.
Physical strength is only half the battle too, you have to be mentally prepared as well. Boxing is like running a marathon while being in a fight, when your body eventually gives up, you can only rely on your mind to get you through the fight and to win.
Muhammed Ali famously said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life like a champion’.” A great boxer is in the gym at 11 o’clock at night, a great boxer is the one running at four in the morning.
There are very few sports in the world where your training will 100 percent decide if you win or lose. There is little to no luck involved in boxing; to win, you must be stronger, faster, fitter and better than your opponent. Nothing else will win you the fight.
Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao has also said numerous times that if you train right, and train hard, the fight is easy. This is what young boxers must learn, great boxers are made in the gym, not in the ring.
Speed over Strength
It is easy to think that boxing is a sport of strength, where the one with the bigger biceps, or the one who can bench press more is the one who will win the fight. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, being strong most definitely has its advantages, but if you don’t have the fast feet or fast reactions, you are going to get hit way more than you want to. Speed is the difference between being the one getting hit, and being the one doing the hitting.
That is the premise of boxing after all, to be the one who does all the hitting. Huge biceps don’t do this for you, your speed does. It is one aspect of your boxing repertoire that should not only never be ignored, but be a main focus, no matter your weight class or size.
A fight is the ultimate leveler; a large, strong guy can easily be floored by someone half their size in a fight. Being humble and boxing definitely go hand-in-hand.
It is always important to remember that no matter what you achieve, there will always be someone bigger, faster and stranger than you that can beat you.
Yes, you should be cocky, and even a bit arrogant too, believing in yourself and your abilities, but even the best get beaten sometimes. Muhammed Ali, the best boxer of all time was beaten, Mike Tyson was beaten when he looked his most unbeatable. It happens to the best, and the sooner you remember this, the better.
You’re Only as Big as Your Last Win
Don’t ever forget that to be the best, you have to beat the best. Jake Paul is the prime example of someone who clearly thinks they’re the best even though he hasn’t actually beaten a boxer yet.
You can’t expect to gain large amounts of respect and notoriety if you aren’t taking on the bigger and more important opponents. Yes, you could lose, but winning would quite literally be a life-changing moment.
Learn to Grow
Boxing is also about growth, learning to adapt and change. Whether that is changing your boxing style, your training habits, whatever it may be, always look to grow and become better, even at the smallest things.
As mentioned already, you will never be able to master the art of boxing, but you should spend every single day at home or in the gym looking to perfect what you do; your jab, footwork, breathing, it all always needs improvement and can always be better.
The legends of the ring have so much experience to offer young boxers. You can’t actually fit it all into one post, however, it is always important to read about them and watch their fights. There is very little chance that they haven’t done something that you’re about to do.
Listening to what they have to say about strategy and training will also give you a fresh outlook on your own career as a boxer, and even potentially allow you to make a change that sends your career into orbit.