The Boxing Scores – What Are We Trying To Achieve When We Fight?

Boxing is widely recognized as being an art about “hitting and not getting hit,” but that’s obvious. And it’s also an insult. If that is all boxing is about, then anyone who threw punches in a fight has been boxing. Stripped down to its essence, boxing is about one of two things: damage and/or control (ultimately control means more, as good damage usually leads into control). The idea is very subjective and boxing used to be about scoring punches cleanly and effectively, but ‘clean and effective’ also brings subjectivity more greatly into the equation. USA Boxing recently changed the scoring from a ‘points’ game into the 10-Must system which makes boxing more…

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The Importance of Loyalty In Boxing

Coaches get broken. Their hearts become more damaged than anyone may know. Years of promises gone awry. Some of those promises gon’ stray. Boxing, more than any other sport, has an aspect of loyalty – ironic of a one to one sport. And in no other endeavor does it get tested more. The relationship formed between coaches and their fighters is not just about time spent together and bonds built, but it has a tangible effect on fighters’ skills and performance. Over time, trust is built between the coach and the fighter and the team, and the coach’s acumen for application fitting to each specific fighter shouldn’t ever be…

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The Story in the Details

The boxing business, like any other business nowadays, is appraised through social media and is essential in building. As a coach, my absolute instinct is to be private about everything. But social media is a tool for constant marketing and contact and, more importantly to me, a learning tool for my fighters.  But I never, never aimed a message of attack at any one particular person unless I named him; if I notice a trend, however, I will probably note it whether or not one guy may have been a source of reproach. There has always been a method to my insanity, and I try to be precise with…

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The Line (prose)

“If everything is on the line, I wanna be right here at home. But I know I need to get off the line or be on neither side alone. When the blood is dry, the bandage washed, the leather starts to crack Like wrinkles ply with brandished scars, I weather the attack.  If everything is on the line, I wanna be right here at home. My body’s lying. My mommy’s vying for a place that’s not my own.  My daydreams rig my nightmares with a fear of open roads I wake to sprint and breathe on. Years, I’m racing to be slow. My labor is the mute complaints and…

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To Privately Train or Not To

There are two predominant kinds of people who train: the ones whose chief goal is to perform better and the ones whose chief goal is to be taught more. That was a difficult differentiation to make, but it is precisely designated, and I promise to explain.  Of course, there is an amalgam of sub-categories, but everybody falls under one.  Instinctively, I’d say there are two kinds of trainees: people who can follow directions and train alone versus people who need someone to hold their hands in order to train at all.  That is, however, a little harsh and unfair. As a coach/trainer, I am adamant that I am NOT…

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Controversial Decisions, Disputed Championships, and the Asterisk in Boxing

There should be a new statistic considered in boxing: the Asterisk. Baseball has argued the idea of adding an asterisk to its record books because of all the alleged steroid use among its players.  The slippery slope might make someone argue that teams’ wins and losses might need asterisks too.  Bad calls by the officials in boxing, however, are not reviewed the way great performances are.  In boxing, next to fighters’ records of wins, losses, ko’s, decisions, and draws, there should be an asterisk to signify and quantify whatever number of those fights were controversial to the effect that the outcome, out of the fighters’ control, had a reasonable…

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Some of the Tools of the Boxing Trade

Teddy Atlas took Cus D’Amato’s Willie Bag invention and ran to the bank with it when he sold the idea to Everlast. Boxing is filled with tools for learning that have lasted many decades, possibly centuries. Cus developed some strange number system and made the Willie Bag to prepare Jose Torres for Willie Pastrano.  The evaluation line, the slipbag, slip lines (ropes), the jab plank, the floor-to-ceiling bag (double-end bag), etc., have been incorporated in boxing, but it’s unclear to whom we owe the ideas.  Trainers often take other people’s ideas and create their own systems – few have cashed-in like Atlas – without a dab of recognition to…

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The State of the Art of Boxing

If there were boxing Gods, all powerful judges overlooking every aspect of the art of boxing, what would They think about it?  The quality of boxing has arguably never been up to a standard worthy of Gods. Regretfully, boxing may have never been up to a standard of itself.  With all the basic tenets and fundamentals of boxing, why do most boxers neglect them? The apogee of boxing has always been about 10 to 15 people in the history of boxing out of hundreds of thousands of boxers. After those 15 or so fighters, we have countless generations of intermediate and inferior boxers.  Of the 10 to 15 men…

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What Exceptional Boxing Coaches Should Do

As someone whose sporting history has tied in with an education background, I am continuously perplexed by the ubiquitous lack of sports coaching following the standards of scholarly pursuits. In boxing especially, fighters can only be grateful to have coaches who care and who communicate the art well enough – I’ve had very good coaches who did just that. But just that. What low standards that is in this age in which writing communication is a part of our everyday lives. It is already so that boxing coaches never had to be educated, but it should be obvious that great coaches should share the standards of great educators of…

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A Skepticism On Weapons Training

Coming from a background of a mixture of martial arts trumped by boxing, my skepticism on any theoretical training is stark yet open-minded. I’ve done all-out sparring with sticks and wooden knives.  I’ve been bruised and cut by sticks and slashed by fake knives, but I hardly respected any of it because it all felt fake.  All the reality based martial arts simply don’t have the real combat aspect of boxing.  When I did “simulation” of getting robbed, it was missing the biggest aspect of any real-life situation (and most reality based martial arts schools miss this too):  the aspect of fear.  Even though I wasn’t partaking in meaningless…

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