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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I started boxing for the first time. I was only able to get in almost 4 months before my trainer left to work with a has-been heavyweight pro trying to make a comeback.

The first day he told me to get in a stance like I was going to fight him. With no thought to it really, I stood southpaw, and that was that - I was to be trained as a Southpaw being right-handed and leading with my right.

So, I've wondered ever since if that was the way to go about it. I've been told that southpaw's sometimes have trouble getting fights. Is that true?

If it helps with your answers, I'm 6'6" 240lbs. Also, I'm old as dirt at 31. So, I'm realistic about it, and understand that what I can accomplish is pretty limited, but I'm not wanting to take over the world anyway, so I'm good with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JCC. Thanks a ton for the reply and interest. Being new to the sport, I have almost unlimited questions. Let me answer yours so that you can help answer mine . .

I started in the amateur ranks, but like I said, I didn't get to fight before my trainer left. This was a very small gym with just a couple of trainers. I only worked with the one, and I felt like I was really making progress. I'm athletic, strong, a quick learner, and from my basketball days - very coachable. But, again, he left and that was it. Soon after I moved back home to Cincinnati (I had moved to Erie PA for 7 months because of my job). So, no, I hadn't turned pro without an amateur background. I was as green as they come, not even have been in a street fight.

No, I'm not a natural southpaw. I am right handed. That's why I'm really wondering about training as such. But hey, I had to trust my trainer right? But, I'm very used to it. I think it gives me some advatages. The ones you listed, along with the fact that my jab is powerful, and could only get better, and my left straight is great. Really supprised how well my left has come along.

On the other hand, when I work that heavy bag not as a southpaw, my jab (leading with my left) is much quicker, and I'm sure if I got my form down, my right could be a monster. So, I'm kinda torn between the two.

At my size and weight, I guess I'm a fairly big guy. I need to drop some gut fat that I attained as part of my right of passage into my 30's. haha But, otherwise, I'm pretty muscular and have always had a good amount of natural strength. I bench somewhere around 270lbs at max, but understand it's more about technique than raw power. What's your opinion on me trying to pack on some more muscle just to have some extra body armor as I'm sure to meet heavyweights bigger than I am? And I do understand that gaining muscle could hinder certain things such as flexibility, but I think you know what I'm getting at with the question.

As far as my training, I'll tell you first that I've been lifting weights to stay in shape since highschool, so I continue to do that. But, I think this can be beneficial to boxing since I vary my routines so that I lift for power, strength, and endurance. As an example I'll slow down my reps with moderate weight to create strenght. Or, I'll bench with heavy weight, and focus on bursts of power to get the bar up quickly. Also, I'll use low weight, high reps to get the endurance going.

As far as boxing, I really only work a 100lb heavy bag with 14oz gloves. I do a general, moderate workout since I'm trying to get back into it. This means, I start with a jab for about 90sec, and then jab into a straight for about 2 rounds of 90sec, then ad some combos for 2-3 more rounds of about 90sec. At the end I always try to unload and wear myself out. I think it's a decent workout. I also switch back and forth between southpaw so that I have a feel for both since I may end up switching. I'm not sure what else I can do in my basement aside from shadow boxing.

As far as my diet. Well, I'm sure its lacking, but how much, I don't know. I never really focus on diet, though I know it's very important. Reason is, I'm not really training for anything, just trying to get back into some kind of boxing shape so that I can get to a gym and get more serious. Maybe get the diet going then with help of a trainer. I don't eat too poorly. I have a pretty good diet for the average guy, but not enough for a serious athelete. If you have anything you could recommend taking a look at to get something going, I'd definitely be interested.

I think another thing that's lacking is running, or skipping some rope. Haven't done either for a while.

As a fighter, I'd like to accomplish first off being competitive and reaching my potential, and ultimately, going after some golden gloves. If I were to find that I have a lot of talent and really had something going, then I would pursue it further.

Reasons I want to become a fighter are: I greatly respect the sport and I want to know how I would do in the ring both mentally and physically. I like the challenge there for me. I really like the primal feeling of boxing. None of that flashy crap of a lot of martial arts. Get in a ring and get after it. I understand there's a lot of strategy in boxing that I didn't know was there before, which I think is great, but there's still the primal element of being in a ring against one other man, and putting it all out there to become victorious. To me it's just one of those sports, and maybe the ultimate sport where what you put in, you get out, and if you don't come correct, you pay a very heavy price. But if you put it all in, and win, that's got to be one of the best feelings and accomplishments for a guy.

That was a great story about the first fight you had against a soutpaw. Thanks for sharing it. Looks like if I continue to fight southpaw, I'll have to look out for that right!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JCC, I apologize, I must have been unclear in my posts. I have no fighting experience yet. Those 4 months I spent with the trainer last year were the first ever, where I started from the beginning learning how to punch properly, getting in shape, working the bags, etc. I have never been in the ring for a fight. Sorry about the confusion.

Since I've moved back to Cincy, I have not belonged to a boxing gym. Someone highly recomended one downtown that I'm interested in. As soon as I can afford it, I want to head down there and get back into it. As for now, just working out in my basement.

This of course may change some of your previous answers. And the age thing probably comes into play even more. But again, I understand that what I can do at 31 is limited, but my interest is to be competitive and learn some things about fighting, and myself in the ring. I think what I'm looking at is going after golden gloves at some level, and my pinnacle would probably be fighting in the Tournament of Champions. So, I'm not looking to make a career out of it unless I have a ton of talent, but still my age would be an issue I'd assume.

In the meantime though, I would like to keep learning/training with both a right handed stance and southpaw. I'd love to be able to switch up in a fight, and think I'm on my way to being able to do so. To me, that's an exciting possibility. A nice weapon in the ring.

I completely understand your stance on weight lifting and know that a good puncher has great technique, not big muscles. I think part of the problem though is that people like me with little experience see these enormous, ripped, big muscled heavyweights on tv and wonder how in the world they'd stand up against someone like that (in the amateur ranks) without having some body armor themselves.

I also agree with you in regards to trainers that have been fighters. Personally, I wouldn't want to be trained by someone who hadn't been there. How could they advise you during the fight when they don't know where you are mentally and physically.

As far as the book you were trying to remember, I'd love to check it out. I've heard some of how Ali used to train, running in boots and things like that. I'm aware he was in amazing condition and would be interested to hear more.

I agree with you on the roadwork also, or course. Even though I'm not in a gym yet, it's never too early to get some lungs, and legs beneath you. I'm getting started on that this upcomming week.

When talking about martial arts, you said that you've found that sometimes they have trouble taking a punch. In boxing, how do you learn to take a punch? Is it a matter of getting used to it over time, breathing tecniques? Just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My trainer was a fighter. I believe most was in the amateur ranks, but he did have a good background.

I guess I'll start by outlining the exercise/warmup routine in the gym that we did. He was no slouch in this area. He kicked my butt, but then I walked through the door in poor cardiovascular shape. I respected the fact though that he laid into me and showed no mercy. I like that. I respond to more of a militant approach than a soft handed kind of thing. If you see me with a scowel on my face and an ultra focused stare that wouldn't notice a naked girl walking by, you know I'm having fun! I think this comes from my dad being a Marine, and ruling the home with the same iron first his DI trained him with. That mentality never left him, and seeped into me.

Anyway, we'd start with basic stretching and calisthenics. Don't think you need too much detail here, but it was thorough.

We'd move to some aerobic activity. I'd slide around the ring with my back to the ropes. For example, move my right foot out to my right and bring my left foot in to folow, being sure never to cross them. So, I'd shuffle around like that for minutes at a time, changing direction often, left then right. I'd also run backwards around the ring. Once I got in decent shape, he'd add ankle weights. At first that stuff would wear me the hell out and I couldn't fathom doing the real work afterwards, but I adapted soon enough.

This would be followed by jabs from one corner and back backwards, shooting jabs while holding 5lb weights to promote speed.

I think that's about it for warm-up etc.

As far as punches, he taught me how to jab by pushing off my rear foot, snapping, and pulling back, ALWAYS stressing keeping my hands up and elbows in. Also taught the cross, and how to rotate my hips and snap them back when i pull my punch back into my guard. I'm not very confident in my technique for hooks. I understand the concept and weight distr, but need to get a little better feel. Same for uppercuts. Probably the least practiced, so I have the least amount of confidence. I don't want to be a purely outside fighter, so I'd really like to get these punches down. I'd like to be a hybrid outside-in boxer.

Aside from all that, I'd work the heavy bag until I thought I was going to puke. Was getting momentum on the speedbag, and was a natural on the double end bag - well basic workouts anyway. I'vegot good hand eye cordination and great reflexes. So that bag was fun for me.

This lead to punching the mits, and then shadow boxing. Finally, I'd skip rope, and then situps with him dropping a 10lb medicine ball I'd catch right as I went back to the mat with my back.

It was a great workout.

What I missed out on, besides the obvious of sparring, and fighting, was learing defensive moves. Didn't have a chance for that either before he left. So now you have a really good idea of how green I still am. I really just got a taste.

In my opinion he was a good trainer, especially for a beginner as he focused on cardio, form, and guard.

You obviously have a great background in boxing, and I'm definitely open to any suggestions or direction, and woud appreciate it a lot.

That was a great point about heavyweights and many boxers in general not having a boxers body. Also, great story about the guy at the pool. That is one of the first things I learned and continue to be reminded of, is that power and ability come from technique and form. As a fairly big and strong guy, I thought I had a pretty nice punch, at least compared to my friends, but learned I didn't have a damn thing on the first day I walked into the gym. It was kinda scary and exciting all at once if you know what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JCC - sorry it took a while here with the reply. been deeling with some crazy family stuff.

yeah i was actually reading up on the history of boxing and read about those bareknuckle fighters back in the day. those guys were something else. you're right about that. man, that had to be something to see. probably a lot of blood and teeth flying around, and then back to work the next day. yeah, they were the true gladiators, but i have to say, i'm glad it evolved into a safer sport so that these guys could last longer and took on less serious injuries.

maybe you'll be happy to know that i started road work. well, i started on my roommates treadmill, but i incline it to get a better simulation of being outside. just want to get some momentum on it before i get out on the streets. listening to you talk about the 9 pound shoes, i wanted to add some weight the other day so i put 2 chains over the back of my neck that are 3 feet long and weigh about 12 pounds each and just walked, but fast and with the treadmill on full incline. i liked how it felt, except i have to be careful with my lower back. so, i think i'll just use one length of chain the next time. i figure this is a nice addition to simply running on the thing.
 
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