Boxing Tip #9: Boxing Your Worst Opponent
Someday you'll find yourself boxing the worst opponent of all.
Picture the biggest, scariest, fastest, most ripped, super aggressive fighter you can think of, multiply him by a thousand and then put him in the opposite corner from you. Picture him sitting on that stool coldly staring at you, penetrating your very soul. Picture him standing, every breath causing every muscle to bulge and twitch with eager anticipation of what he is about to do to you.
Scare you? Raise your level of anxiety just a little bit?
Well, guess what? No matter who you fight, the worst opponent will never be the one sitting across the ring from you. The worst one will by yourself by a longshot.
Ross Enamait wrote an article over at rossboxing.com about Boxing with a Poker Face:
A fight can be won or lost based completely in your mind. You can literally psych yourself out of a victory, and by letting on to how tired you are, you can actually strengthen your opponent. Some of you will understand this feeling. You notice your opponent weakening and it actually makes you stronger. One can always find solace in the discomfort of others.
No matter how bad off you are, if someone is worse off, you can feed on that.
How to Maintain Focus through Fatigue
In simple terms, it is all about conditioning. You have to practice hiding how you are really feeling. You can be so completely wiped out and dreading the sound of the next bell, but if you let on that you are tired, you are only going to fuel your opponent. You should be looking at your opponent and watching for his level of energy and carefully monitoring the signals you are sending out. In order to do this, you have to be aware of your image at all times in the fight, and that happens by being aware of yourself during practices.
So right now, when you are in the gym, stop huffing and puffing and complaining. Stop sitting down, taking breaks, whimpering, and grunting. Stop throwing pathetic, weak little punches and letting your guard down. Give your trainer 100% Now is the time to get it right, so when you are in the ring your opponent will be staring at you coming to the realization that he is up against an invincible force. You show weakness and it will be exploited. You portray invincibility and you will weaken your opponent without even hitting him.
You will never find anyone who can outbox you more than yourself. Even when you know everything, are conditioned up the wahoo and are literally in your prime, if your head isn't on straight you can lose before stepping into the ring. So, train how you will fight. And that means not showing weakness in the gym or even when you are by yourself. You will respond in a fight the way you have drilled your body. So make sure you drill it right.