Category Archives: boxing

Don’t Sleep on McGregor

On one end of the arena, we have Conor McGregor—arguably one of the craziest, most explosive UFC fighters there is. On the other end stands Floyd “Money” Mayweather, an undefeated (49-0) veteran boxer who without a doubt compares to some of the best boxers in the history of the sport.

The battle was officially announced a few weeks ago, and I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read that completely denounce this upcoming event as a “circus fight” or some type of bad joke. This is something that absolutely never happens. Have you ever seen the Patriots compete against the Yankees? Yeah, same. It’s true that boxing and mixed martial arts both consist of two people beating the life out of each other, but they are two completely different sports that sort of repel one another. Boxing has literally been around since the 1600s, a smooth strategic sport in which patience and power usually bring about victory. MMA is a newer, less disciplined form of fighting where staying in the offensive is ever so important. Competitors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) not only exchange blows with their fists, but also their legs—which adds whole new level of complexity to the sport. Who wouldn’t want witness two sports collide? In a world that sometimes seems systematic and redundant, why not throw a curveball into the mix?

TELEMMGLPICT000134436157_1-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq-b8lvYeT7ebSRCv1_WuiyZxyMIXv-_LrUI31icGh_SI

Since the fight was announced, I’ve probably asked over 30 people what they think about the upcoming battle and who they think is going to take home the belt. Absolutely no one wants Conor McGregor to be victorious; no one even thinks he stands a chance. Yeah, I get it. He’s a young, aggressive hothead who walks away with upwards of a million dollars regardless of whether he wins or dies in that ring. Don’t be mistaken, though. McGregor has NOT “won the fight already”. Money in this case will not determine the victor. Money will not motivate the Irishman to knock out his opponent—being number one will.

I have the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather. He literally has not lost one bout in his professional career. That’s 49 fights—and not one loss. Greatest of all time? Maybe. His defensive skills are impeccable, and rarely does someone land more than a few consecutive punches on him at a time. He adjusts and positions his body quicker than anyone I have ever watched. He’s smart. Mayweather may not have the most powerful jab in the world, but they are so accurate and consistent that his opponents have no choice but to keep an optimal distance from him. The ins and outs of boxing are ingrained in Mayweather’s DNA—and that in itself will be his greatest chance of taking this once-in-a-lifetime fight.

Floyd-Mayweather-Jr-Fight.jpg

Now, let’s talk about a guy who has more self-belief than any athlete I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Unlike most of our U.S. presidents, Conor McGregor actually achieves the goals he sets for himself and his fans. He follows through. And, although defeating Mayweather is a goal that may seem impossible, nonsensical, illogical even—I wholeheartedly believe in him. The fact that so many people don’t believe in him may just be fuel to his ever-burning desire for victory and fame.

Further, let’s not forget some of the simpler advantages that McGregor has over Mayweather. There are 12 years separating the young Irishman from the champion boxing veteran, and this is not something to be overlooked. Mayweather is 40 years old—most professional boxers are in their 20s-30s—and he is going to have to keep up physically with someone bigger, faster, and more explosive than himself. Not to mention McGregor is a southpaw (lefty), the kind of fighter Mayweather usually has some trouble with.

14954037509850.jpg

I’m no boxing guru or MMA aficionado, but if you’ve ever watched Conor McGregor in the ring, how can you not think that he stands a chance? He is an absolute head case—with impeccable strength and skills—and will do absolutely anything to win this fight. He will come to play, and I know Mayweather will too. This will be one of the greatest sporting events the present generations will ever see.

So get your bets in, figure out whose Pay-per-view you’re going to mooch, and get ready to see something that the world has never had the pleasure of seeing before. And most importantly…

DON’T SLEEP ON MCGREGOR.

Conor McGregor: Rich, Brave, and Totally Screwed

Conor McGregor is a brave man. Conor McGregor is a smart man. Conor McGregor is going to get his ass whupped six ways to Saturday if and when he steps in the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena on August 26 to fight Floyd Mayweather.

That’s not a knock on Conor, the same way it isn’t insulting to say that I would probably lose in a sprint against Usain Bolt. It’s simply a fact of life. There are several reasons to believe that Conor is going to get outclassed in the ring come August 25, all of which stem from the fact that, as confirmed by UFC President Dana White, the upcoming match will be a pure boxing match. Boxing presents insurmountable disadvantages to Conor which will, in the end, allow Floyd to either make quick work of him, or cruise to a decision victory.
2405218B00000578-2877649-Mayweather_was_not_happy_with_the_crowd_Amir_Khan_brought_in_whe-a-5_1418831053009

The first of these disadvantages comes simply from the time spent practicing the sport. Regardless of whether Conor McGregor is a striker or not, his style has developed to defend kicks, elbows and takedowns as well as punches. His style does not even resemble that of a classic boxing stance, the sort which has proven to be the most fundamental of requirements in boxing. Instead, Conor’s usual stance, lacadasical, his feet held apart and arms held far out from his chin in a manner that reminds one of old bare knuckle boxers, is ill suited to the boxing ring, where heavy gloves and less space mean that one has more of an advantage in holding their hands closer to block incoming punches. This kind of a disadvantage is not exactly a damning fact, as one would imagine that Conor’s preparation would allow him to make the adjustments needed to settle into a more standard stance. It does, however, highlight just how out of his element McGregor will be in a boxing ring, and how lacking he is in traditional boxing experience.

What should cause McGregor some concern, however, is that one of his signature features as a fighter will also be rudely ripped from his arsenal during this bout, namely, his ability to pressure. While Conor’s reach allows him to punish lesser strikers from stepping in against him, Conor’s main tool to pressure opponents backwards has always come from his kicks. His front snap kick to the body, along with his round kicks and heel kicks allow him to force his opponents to either come towards him and get countered, or move backwards towards the cage. We saw the results of what happens when such pressure fails in both of Conor’s fights against Nate Diaz, whose inhuman chin and conditioning, combined with his longer reach allowed him to step in against McGregor. Against Floyd, McGregor will no longer be able to deploy his kicks, and will therefore be forced to pressure with his hands. Floyd’s reputation as a defensive genius also means that Conor might find himself in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of being the lead fighter, rather than being able to sit and wait for the counter. Therefore, when in the lead, Conor will be in unfamiliar territory with his main pressure weapons removed from his arsenal. Next, we will look at the fight on the counter.

Ch7YNN4XIAE99S-.0.0.jpg

Conor McGregor’s best work has almost unfailingly happened on the counter. Just because his opponents were the ones with their backs to the cage, does not mean that McGregor initiated the majority of the exchanges. In both the Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez knockouts, Conor waited for his opponents to commit to their punches before catching them leaning in with his rocket of a left hand. Even before the UFC, as we can see from his fight with Ivan Buchinger, McGregor’s bread and butter involved pressuring opponents into the cage, before evading a few of their punches and then cracking them on the counter with his left. What makes McGregor good is not the complexity of his meta-game, but rather the simplicity of it, and his mastery over the skills needed to execute it. However, we have seen Conor wilt under pressure when he cannot execute this game. Nate Diaz put a hurting on Conor when he was able to deny McGregor his ability to pressure. Chad Mendes, before he wilted, was able to give Conor serious trouble by executing takedowns when he was pressured. Even in his second fight with Diaz, which McGregor won by a close decision, Conor found himself having to jog away from Diaz in order to avoid getting overwhelmed. Despite that, he was caught in a nasty position in the third round against the cage, where many foes of the elder Diaz brother, Nick, met their end. Had Nate Diaz been able to fix Conor in place, there is little doubt he could have pressured Conor for the finish.

In the ring with Floyd, Conor may find himself unable to pressure his opponent, given Floyd’s defensive prowess and Conor’s lack of kicking opportunity. This means that Floyd will have the opportunity to pressure Conor, and if he wins exchanges on the counter, the smaller ring offers far less of a chance for McGregor to keep his back off the ropes. Floyd will not make the same cage-cutting mistakes that Diaz did in his second fight, and could easily find himself with a timid Conor on the ropes in front of him. In this case, McGregor will be hard pressed to get himself off the cage and back into the fight.
31E9F68600000578-3478699-Diaz_pushes_McGregor_up_against_the_cage_in_their_welterweight_b-a-21_1457256510860.jpg

The x-factor, as it always is with McGregor, is KO power. However, the boxing glove, when compared to the UFC glove, is designed to cause less knockouts. Furthermore, Floyd has remained lucid through his last 49 fights, and I am unconvinced he is not going to start taking naps now.

All of these factors indicate that Conor McGregor has talked himself into the biggest, most valuable embarrassment of his life. This is going to be a freakshow fight, the likes of which are rarely seen out side of Japan (Rizin Fighting Federation once pitted a pro-wrestling grandma against giant female jiu jitsu practitioner Gabi Garcia). That said, everybody needs a freakshow once in a while, and Conor McGregor has dreamed into reality the biggest freakshow fight in the history of two people punching each other in the face. The real victory for both men is that it’s going to rain down dollars on ‘Money’ and ‘Notorious’, so we needn’t worry about the sport. This one’s about the spectacle, brought into being by the swaggering trash talk of a mad Irishman. So as much as I know Floyd Mayweather has every advantage going into that boxing ring, I will be rooting for Conor and I sure as hell will be tuning in to check out their $600 million dance on August 26.

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.

Boxing

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.

Shadow Boxing.jpg

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!