All posts by annarichards1

10 Most Inspirational Figures in Sports

Athletes inspire people. Regardless of which team or which country they belong to, they are a beacon of hope, inspiration, and leadership around the world. These are the people who spend their whole life making a name for themselves so they can be recognized by their work, their sportsmanship, and their skill. They tell you how a mere human can create waves of motivation and proud in the hearts of millions.

There is always a list that people have in their heads when they think about ‘the greatest’ and they don’t have to think twice. Some are great because of their skills in sports, some are great because of their leadership skills and how they transformed their teams and the sports they were a part of.

Swimming: Michael Phelps

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First on our list is an American Swimming master who started his career in 2000 and since then, he has won 28 medals and titles in his career including an ultra-impressive finish in Beijing Olympics 2008. He is 32 years old with a great track record and has simply dominated the world of swimming.

American Football: Tom Brady

Tom Brady has spent over 15 years building a career as a leader. He has been with the New England Patriots, taking them to seven Super Bowls, winning five of them. Even if he is surrounded by inexperienced players, he tries to make it all work by being the best at his job. He is a two-time NFL MVP and four-time MVP for the Super Bowl.

Squash: Jahangir Khan

A Guinness world record holder, the former Pakistani squash player is famous for his magnificent 555 games-in-a-row win streak. This kind of history is never to be witnessed again. He was told that he will never become a squash player because he was weak and feeble and he proved everyone wrong by becoming a source of inspiration for the world.

Soccer: Lionel Messi

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His name and fame knows no bounds; he is the epitome of speed and strategy in soccer across the world. Messi is the face of many social organizations and is a human Twitter trend because his daily occurrence of doing something out of the ordinary on the pitch. He has been with Argentina’s soccer team since the early 2000s and he makes every game worthwhile. He is also world’s second most paid soccer player, and constantly butts heads with Cristiano Ronaldo for this spot.

Golf: Tiger Woods

A 15-time world champion, Tiger Woods is a name that everyone knows in the sports world. The American golfer’s techniques, strategy and passion are unmatched until now, even after his career took a turn for the worst. Golf was known to the general public as a boring game until he came along and told the world that it is classy, exciting and fun to watch.

MMA: Ronda Rousey

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She is considered to be the most dangerous woman on earth. She cleared the path for every female fighter across the glove towards combat sports. Ronda Jean Rousey has a 12-2 MMA and 6-2 UFC record that made her a phenomenal woman in sports, with an image that men of the MMA envy. Rousey is currently ranked the number four Bantamweight fighter in the world, but her influence on the sport goes well beyond her professional fighting record.

Basketball: Michael Jordan

The former American basketball player and the most famous name in basketball history is an inspiration to millions. Born in 1963, this 54-year-old legend is considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time. He ruled NBA in the 1980s and 1990s. His scoring average in his career is 32.0, still an unbeatable feat. He has earned hundreds of awards, nominations, and titles along the support and a name for himself that has transcended just the sports world and turned itself into a brand.

Cricket: Ricky Ponting

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He is no doubt the greatest cricket team captain in the world. Ponting stood with the Australian Cricket team from 2004 to 2011 and from 2002 to 2011 in test matches and one-day international matches respectively and his strategy and skill are regarded very highly in the world of cricket. He is also an excellent batsman and his name is taken with Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Javed Miandad.

Sprinter: Usain Bolt

He is referred as the fastest runner who ever lived. The Jamaican has achieved so much since 2008 Olympics, where he put himself on the map. He is the only person to hold two records: one in 100 meters and one in 200 meters (both world records), since fully automated time became mandatory. He is now considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time and is called ‘Triple Double’ because of his record of being the only sprinter to win Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics.

Boxing: Muhammad Ali

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Anyone who ever picks up a boxing glove knows the name Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer who ever lived. He is known as the fastest boxer on the planet and every good boxer aspires to be like him. Ali is regarded as one of World’s most significant and celebrated sports figures and activists. His motivational quotes are found everywhere and his legacy is said to be holy when boxers address his name.

13 Must-have Boxing Equipment for Beginners

Why Boxing?

Boxing challenges you. It is one of the best cardio workouts that involve your entire body and its efforts and the best part is: you get strength, speed, and endurance. Every athlete boxes, because they know how good of a workout it is for them and how it will improve their mental and physical strength at the same time. The combinations of punches and kicks are hard to learn but when you get a hang of it, you wouldn’t want to stop at any cost. You will learn how to be alive and humble, you will find your instincts and enhance them while keeping you aware of your surroundings at all times.

What do you Need?

Since boxing is the most dangerous form of sports in the world at the moment, right next to MMA, it is always advised to get the best protective gear that will not only keep you safe but would improve your boxing technique as well. And while you are beginning your journey in the bittersweet valley of boxing, here is a list of essentials that you need so you can keep yourself protected while getting the most out of this sport.

Boxing Gloves

The most important piece of the puzzle that forms a boxer, is a pair of durable high-quality leather boxing gloves. In ancient times, fighters realized they needed to protect their hands over a few centuries of broken knuckles that caused advances in protective hand gear. Today, we have some pretty shock-absorbent and cool looking gloves that provide excellent grip and makes your punch rock solid, without the injury. Their purpose is to protect the hands of the attacker and absorb shock while keeping the hand comfortable.

Hand-wraps or Bandages

Now that you have the basics covered, the bag and the gloves, you need to go deeper in the protective gear category. Never hit the punching bag without protecting your hands. Always get good hand wraps that will not only protect your hands but will also make sure that the shock from the blow doesn’t affect your hands even if it crosses the gloves and onto your hands. The best ones are elasticated to ensure flexibility while being affordable and sturdy.

Timer

You need to structure your timings in boxing rounds. Keep a way of timing your boxing rounds and get proper rest after each so you can get the maximum out of it. But that doesn’t mean an hour break after 3 minutes of boxing routines. In HIIT, you measure your workouts in coherence with your rest or intervals. Best example would be to have a 3 minute round with 15 seconds break. Having a timer will add discipline to your routine no matter how intense it gets.

Skipping Rope

Best jump ropes or skipping ropes are the best way to develop boxing balance, footwork, and warm-up or even a warm-down. It’s one of the best cardio exercises and the best skipping ropes are available in both metal and leather materials. 15 minutes of skipping rope also tones your shoulders, back, and legs while creating better coordination between your hands and feet

Gym Suit

Buy a gym suit that is made of a comfortable material which doesn’t bother your workouts and keeps you fresh and active while you are going rounds on the punching bag. Especially when you are training in summers, the material should be breathable and sweat wicking. It should also ensure ease of movement and flexibility.

Punching Bag

You need a punching bag to improve your skills. It will also help you create a boxing stance of your own while developing your punches, power, speed and stamina. You’ll need a sturdy punching bag that will take the beating and still stand to absorb more. It is also a great way to take out the stress at the end of the day. Make sure that the punching bag you get for your home or gym is an easy setup punching bag with ceiling hooks so you don’t stress yourself out while setting it up.

Mouth Guard

You should never go sparring without a mouth guard. It has two advantages. First, it will help you NOT lose a tooth if the punch or hit lands on your teeth instead of spreading over the jaw. Secondly, if it does hit your jaw, you’ll bite your tongue as your lower jaw has more freedom of movement as compared to your upper jaw. Always get an antibacterial boil and bite mouth guard as it will mold itself to the shape of your teeth.

Groin Protector

There is nothing worse than getting kicked in your vitals. So get a sturdy and comfortable groin guard that will keep you at ease of movement while giving you protection against hits.

Chest protector

They will guard your chest region whether you are male or female. They should be unbreakable, durable and comfortable. They would absorb the hits aimed for your chest as well.

Bag gloves

Their purpose is to provide comfort in a glove while absorbing the heaviest of blows. Prefer buying authentic and synthetic leather bag gloves that will protect your hands while lasting a lifetime.

Headgear

Sparring sessions require head gears. They would protect your head from punches and hits so you don’t damage the core of your boxing routine. It should fit you perfectly and if it’s your own, that means it will be covered by your own sweat and no one else’s. Go for heavily padded head guards so you avoid brain injuries caused by hits.

Shoes

These are extremely important for your sessions. They should be comfortable and sturdy while making sure that you don’t feel tied up and eventually decreasing your footwork. So basically, you need to get the gym shoes that allow maximum footwork efficiency. Sports shoe manufacturers design shoes for athletes so their feet are safe and allow perfect movement at the same time. Go for shoes with heavy soles and good cushioning so the arches in your feet are comfortable too.

Exercise Mat

Whether you go to a gym or a home gym, an exercise mat is a must. It would allow you ease of ground work and a goof exercise mat provides you zero friction so you can enhance your performance while being large enough for you to lay down after a session and get rolled up against the wall when you are done.

Are you Ready?

After getting all these for your boxing needs, get posters of your favorite boxers, get a killer playlist that will help you stay motivated and when you’re free, watch movies that will inspire you to become the greatest.

Boxing is Making a Comeback in 2017

Boxing’s modern history goes back a century. Legendary fighters stepped into the ring to show their prowess and won the hearts of millions of people.

There was a time when boxers were regarded as titans among athletes and their popularity had no comparison. One need only looks at the picture of press coverage of Muhammad Ali to see how enamored people were with boxers.

But that golden era has long gone and in the past decade or so boxing has declined in popularity, thanks mainly to MMA (mixed martial arts). It has come to the point that fans of the sport want to see a boxer fight an MMA fighter.

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The Rise of MMA

Bandwagon fans of boxing find such matchups intriguing because sadly boxing has had some rough few years. There haven’t been fights that have excited fans like in the olden days, with a few exceptions. The popularity of MMA has had an effect on boxing ratings among fans.

In 2015, primetime boxing fights drew 2.88 million viewers, while MMA prime time fights attracted 3.09 million viewers.

The numbers speak for themselves, and just a couple of years ago it seemed that boxing was breathing its last. But the news of its demise was greatly exaggerated because a few captivating matchups have breathed new life into the sport and it is making a strong comeback in 2017.

New Life

Boxing was never really down and out as some people believed, there were fights that showed that spark and finally in the past year or so boxing has come back with a bang.

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather

New life was breathed into boxing in 2015 with the biggest fight in decades; Pacquiao – Mayweather drew in crowds from everywhere. Celebrities and boxing enthusiasts descended on Las Vegas and 4.4 million people tuned in to watch the two best fighters of the age battle for greatness.

The fight had the hype that is worthy of a PPV boxing fight.

The fight itself was less competitive than people predicted and but it had everything that a basketball fan should appreciate.

Joshua vs. Klitschko

The biggest attraction for boxing fans in 2017 was Joshua – Klitschko fight. The heavyweight championship fight for the ages featured an aging Wladimir Klitschko and the young and energetic Anthony Joshua.

True fans of the sport could see the turning of the tide when April 29 drew closer. There was excitement about boxing once again and the bout did not disappoint at all.

Both fighters gave a valiant effort until Round 11 when Joshua came out with newfound aggression and referee stopped the fight to crown him the WBA, IBO and IBF heavyweight champion of the world. An instant classic.

Jacobs vs. Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin is perhaps one of the most popular boxers in the world right now and he was challenged by Danny Jacobs. What made the match exciting was the fact that everyone believed that ‘GGG’ will wipe the floor with Jacobs. But the fight was very competitive and lasted the whole 12 rounds. No fighter could be ruled out until the end of the fight when judges called the bout in favor of Golovkin.

This edge of the seat thriller was exactly what the sport of boxing needed in 2017.

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More Exciting Things to Come

2017 in only just half way done and it has plenty more to offer in terms of boxing duels.

Berchelt vs. Miura

The super popular featherweight division has an upcoming fight that is highly anticipated in boxing circles. The WBC world super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt will take on the former champion Takashi Miura.

A fight that many are referring to as a strong contender for the ‘Fight of the Year.

Crawford vs. Indongo

When two unbeaten fighters step into the ring it always makes for an intriguing fight. WBA, WBC and WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (31-0) will face Julius Indongo (22-0) in August.

Mayweather vs. McGregor

There is a lot of hype surrounding this fight. Many hardcore boxing fans find the fight to be an entertainment ploy and nothing else. No matter the intentions of the promoters, Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor will give fans a good show. And when Mayweather knocks out McGregor, everyone will know why boxing is the superior sport.

Golovkin vs. Alvarez

Golovkin will step into the ring one more time this year to defend his title against one of the best boxers in Mexico, Alvarez. Golovkin is still undefeated, while Alvarez has only been beaten by Mayweather. The fight will be the biggest PPV fight since Mayweather – Pacquiao in 2015.

These are just the primetime fights, there are many more exciting matchups and bouts that show that boxing has made a huge comeback in 2017.

Boxing has recaptured the prestige it once held. It will continue to mesmerize fans with breathtaking bouts and battles of titans of the ring!