Shadow Boxing Tips

When you talk about boxing, it is difficult to have a conversation without mentioning the legends of this sport, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, and Rocky Graziano. Their dedication, intense passion, unique skills, and years of hard work and sweat brought them the fame they deserve. With hours, days, months, and years of practice, many young boxers and future hopefuls wish to become like them, and hope for one day they can earn the same respect these legends hold today. However, you can’t just start punching speed bags or punching bags and call yourself a boxer. Your passion for boxing comes from within and it has to transform into the way you accept it into you. By following proper boxing techniques, you can become a powerful boxer.

There are various tips and techniques used in boxing. Shadow boxing is one of them. Students of boxing, and even professional boxers, are taught how to shadow box so that they can apply this exercise into the sport. In the following article, we will be taking a closer look at what this style of boxing is and also go over some important tips.

What is Shadow Boxing?

Technically speaking, this type of boxing is a workout that boxers use to prepare their muscles for training. During this technique, no punching bags or any other equipment is used. You have to deliver punches in front of you and think that someone is standing there (this should explain the reason behind the name). You can stand in front of a mirror or in middle of the ring to start boxing yourself.

When you punch in front of you, since there isn’t any bag that determines how much force you’ve used, the workout becomes that much more interesting and important. You have maneuver your body in such a way that it looks like there is someone present and you are actually punching a person and/or trying avoid taking their blows. In order to know what it looks like, picture Muhammad Ali in the ring, throwing punches in the air, practicing his routine. After understanding what this workout is all about, let’s look at some boxing tips which you can follow in order to apply them in boxing.

Tips for Shadow Boxing

Learning and practicing the technique doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a professional boxer or are looking towards being one. As an exercise routine, you can learn to make yourself more agile and light on your feet.

■ It helps to condition your body and provide the much-needed strength for boxing. You need to learn how have a proper stance during this workout so that you can transfer your energy to improving the power in your punches, being swift and light on your feet, and develop your skills in the sport.

■ Keep a check on your breathing pattern as it affects how you deliver your punches and move about the ring. Many times, some people forget to breathe out after taking a breath. Keeping your breath in and then throwing the punches is wrong and can hold you back.

■ Boxing has everything to do with your core muscles. If you core muscles are weak, you won’t be able to have a firm hold over your legs to move about the ring. Your every move, punch, slide, everything depends on your core muscles. So keep working to build your abdominal muscles and make them strong.

■ Learning just one routine during practice (moving in the same direction, following one rhythm) is not advisable. You should keep changing your routine so that you don’t become predictable and your opponent is left wondering what your next move will be.

■ The most important tip is, every time you throw a punch, or are maneuvering around the ring, always have an image of someone standing in front of you. Picturing an opponent will help you focus and concentrate. You won’t throw punches for the heck of it and will be able to understand how boxing works.

When you learn, understand, and practice the techniques, you can be sure to time your punches and improve yourself as a boxer. Similar to following particular drills in any given sport, shadow boxing is considered as a drill for boxing. While practicing, remember the tips mentioned in this article. Also, if you have a coach or trainer who is teaching you boxing, or how to shadow box, listen to their advice and look for guidance.

Best Boxing Gloves

I wonder how did Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and the like choose their boxing equipment. I guess some of the credit of their success goes to their boxing equipment, especially those legendary gloves. Without top-notch gloves their task would have been a little more difficult! So, here is how you choose the best gloves for yourself, if you are into boxing.

Choosing the Best Boxing Gloves

It is not as easy as you think to get the perfect pair of gloves. An individual cannot just walk in a sports shop and ask for a pair of gloves. A serious thought has to be put in for picking the best gloves.

Pick of the Picks
One of the wisest things to do for buying good gloves for boxing is to consult your trainer or instructor. As I described, just because a pair of Everlast gloves looks good, you cannot buy them, or buying gloves just because they are cheap, in a sports shop is a big no no. Speak to your instructor, decide the usage level of your gloves and then buy them.

Sporting Which Sport
What kind of sports or activity you are in is a major determinant of what type of gloves will be the best for you. For instance, if you practice cardio kickboxing in the gym, it will be advisable to choose a thicker glove with more padding. On the contrary, if you might have noticed, that a professional will most often than not have a lighter glove, easiest to make a fist. For someone who is training to hit the ring, again a heavier glove will be a good option. Likewise, if you are into Muay Thai, or just punching the speed bag, or sparring, your glove specifications for those boxing workouts will be different.

Size and Weight Matters
More than size, in boxing the weight of the glove matters. For example, 8 oz and 10 oz are common for competitive boxers, who hit the punching bag or heavy bag regularly, while women and kids, who have comparatively smaller hands, can have 12 oz gloves. They will be the best for them, when it comes to size. Along with this, 16 oz is the common weight of gloves for people of all sizes who are training. Typically, 12 oz is small, 14 oz is medium and 16 is large. Another important thing about size is that usually, gloves stretch to fit your hand better, with frequent use. So it is highly likely that even the best gloves will not fit you properly when they are brand new. For this reason, a good idea is to buy a pair which fits slightly tighter and never ever buy gloves without trying them with your hands wrapped.

Best Brands for Boxing Gloves

Gloves from renowned brands come with a guarantee. Some of the most prominent brands are Everlast, Ringside, Cleto Reyes, Revgear, Lonsdale, Grant and a few others. Everlast pro style training gloves are top-notch and so are Cleto Reyes Official Pro-fight Gloves. You can get a wide array of choices when you buy from these brands.

A final consideration while picking boxing gloves is whether they are going to be of leather or vinyl. Leather will be a better option, as it lasts longer. Although now you can get good vinyl gloves too. Rather than velcro, gloves with laces are preferable. That’s it! All the best!

Best Boxing Fights Ever

Boxing, a game with a name that will bring an adrenal rush to your body. The knockout punches that brought about unexpected wins, the shortest time taken to knock an opponent to the ground, a fight between an opponent with the most number of world tiles opposite an underdog, are all markings of a great boxing bout. Let’s have a look at the best fights of all time, and remember some of the glorious matches of boxing.

Top 10 Boxing Bouts in History

George Foreman vs Ron Lyle
This was a war between two heavy hitters. It was George Foreman’s first fight in 15 months. In his last match, he had lost to the almighty Muhammad Ali in ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’. This face-off between Foreman and Lyle was termed as the ‘Fight of the Year’ by Ring Magazine. It was won by Foreman, who continued to pick himself up after receiving multiple blows himself. This is truly one of the best boxing matches ever, where Foreman put in his best effort ever.

Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman
Muhammad Ali and George Foremen were both legends in their own rights. Just the very mention of this bout makes one remember this as the biggest upsets ever. Foreman was known to annihilate every heavyweight champion who dared to stand opposite him. The verdict of the match was thought to be very predictable, as everyone assumed Ali didn’t stand a chance. However, in the seventh round, Ali threw a heavy stunner. Foreman was knocked out of the game, and Ali won. This was just one of the many accomplishments of Muhammad Ali.

Thomas Hearn vs Marvin Hagler
Think what you may, but this definitely is one of the best boxing matches ever fought in history. It was fought in the ‘golden eighties’. Thomas Hearns was a devastating boxer, who brushed off anyone who dared to step up opposite him in the ring. Hagler was known to start slow, but in this match, he came up aggressively against Hearn. The fight looked as if the two thought they had just three rounds to complete the fight. In the second round, Hearns hit Hagler with a power punch, and Hagler too had his share of punches on his opponent. By the third round, there was nonstop action, that lead to a knockout punch. Hagler won the fight and earned himself a name worldwide.

Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward I
This fight earned the title of the ‘Fight of The Year’ by Ring Magazine. The ‘Irish’ Micky Ward and Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti fought one of the best boxing fight in history. Ward secured a point’s win over Gatti in the ninth round, after a ferocious and bloody fight.

Jose Luis Castillo vs Diego Corrales
Fought in May 2005, it had all the ingredients that made it known as the match of the decade. This fight saw a shower of battering blows, underhand tactics, etc. Knocked down twice during the game, Corrales bought additional recovery time by spitting out his mouth guard. Finally, he gave out a ‘perfect’ right hand (in his words), and was declared victorious over Castillo.

Buster Douglas vs Mike Tyson
This one proved to be the greatest upsets in Mike Tyson’s boxing career. He was termed invincible, and his loss to James ‘Buster’ Douglas shattered this image.

Marvin Hagler vs Vito Antuofermo
This is one of the rare fights that was good but ended in controversy. This fight was declared a draw, even though many felt Hagler had won the fight.

Sugar Ray Robinson vs Carmen Basilio II
This event was a 15-round match, where the fading boxing star Sugar Ray managed to win against the formidable Basilio II on points.

Julio Cesar Chavez vs Meldrick Taylor I
This match was fought over 12 full rounds. Chavez was behind by one point. However, the tables were turned with just two seconds left on the clock. Chavez won the match, leaving everyone in the arena truly astonished.

Erik Morales vs Marco Antonio Barrera I
These slender bodied Mexicans delivered a heavyweight performance in the ring. The entire fight was more than perfect, with round eight becoming one of the most memorable boxing rounds ever. The fight was divided into two sequels by public demand. The first was won by Morales, and the rematch was won by Barrera through a unanimous outcome. The final and third fight took place at Super Featherweight. This was won by Barrera through a majority decision.

Other Memorable Bouts

  • Jonny Reagan v Jack Dempsey, 1887
  • Sugar Ray Leonard v Thomas Hearns, 1981
  • Bobby Chacon v Rafael Limon, 1982
  • Bartley Gorman vs Mexicana Webb, 1980
  • Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III, 1975
  • Jack Dempsey vs. Luis Angel Firpo, 1923
  • Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn, 1941
  • Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson, 1997
  • Rocky Marciano vs Jersey Joe Walcott, 1952

I can go on and on enlisting some of the best fights that have taken place. One can continue to name some of the greats, like John L. Sullivan, Randolph Turpin, Floyd Patterson, David Diaz, Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and remember all the best boxing matches fought by them.

Boxing Tips for Beginners

This is a sport where if you are not ready for the attack, the opponent can and will, surely knock you down. Just like this dialog from a boxing movie ‘Rocky’ starring Sylvester Stallone;

Mickey: Your nose is broken.
Rocky: How does it look?
Mickey: Ah, it’s an improvement.

Yes, this is what is the quintessential sport boxing we are talking about here. The likes of Mike Tyson and Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali, they have been there done that. These boxers slogged and slogged hard to get to the top.

Tips for Boxing
Proper Gear
It is extremely significant that you have a good pair of gloves at your disposal at the onset when you want to learn boxing. Apart from that, you would need hand wraps, mouth piece, headgear and shoes.

Basic Techniques
You would most probably begin with learning what is, in boxing jargon, called a jab. Here is what you do.

  • Get in a boxing stance with your lead foot forward.
  • With the weight on your toes, take a step forward, and simultaneously throw a straight punch using your lead hand.
  • Get your fist back in its original position and repeat.

Once you get the jab, it will serve as a pathway for learning other techniques involved in boxing. One of them is footwork and the other is blocking. Footwork for most part would be taken care of while jabbing, but still you would need to work on that. Blocking will help you know how to block those power packed blows from an opponent. There too, you have to analyze the situation and then block. In addition to this, you also need to attack. So, for attacking, you need to create opportunities to throw that lethal punch. A good punching bag will do the needful for you. Along with this, you need to be mentally prepared to take hard blows as well. That will be developed as you train more and more. Another factor when you are in a ring is preemption. Somewhere down the line, you would be required to anticipate a punch, where in you will need to attack before that. Again, this would be a result of your hard training and love for the sport. There are some more techniques, but they are better left for the trainer to explain and teach!

Fitness and Nutrition
Imagine you have a great potential, have all the punches, blocks and preemptive methods in your kitty. But you blow it off in just the 3rd round. Reason? Lack of stamina and requisite endurance. So the point is to be fit as a fiddle and concentrate on maintaining perfect health. This is done by proper nutrition or eating habits, rigorous boxing workouts, and stamina building exercises. For instance eating carbohydrates before training and proteins after training. Running or any other cardiovascular exercise is excellent for improving stamina. Without this, all your mind-boggling boxing skills can go for a toss.

Sparring
Sparring, in short is fighting it out like an actual boxing contest with a partner. But this a bit of an advanced stage. Sparring gives you a real feel of being in the ring. Fine, you can punch the punching bag to a lump, but are not so good in front of an opponent. The solution for this is sparring. Sans sparring, you would not get any idea about how to go about defending, clinching, and distancing.

Last but not the least, you would need a truckload of patience, ye fellas, because boxing is not child’s play. It is a sport where you should be ready to take blows in the same spirit as you are to throw punches. It is all a part of the game.

History of American Boxing

Boxing―the sport itself creates an image of swollen appendages and a bruised face. However, the flip side of the coin is that this sport has also enabled many a country to create a niche in the world of sport, and many a sportsperson to find true self-expression. The sport originated from typically primitive hand-to-hand combats of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The earliest forms of expression of the sport probably rose out of the need to declare supremacy of the physical body, and the extent to which it can be resilient. The sport is believed to have become a part of the American world of sport and history in the 18th century. The pugilism was passed on when the British colonized the Americas. The sport ‘arrived’ via the youth of wealthy southern families.

The Early Days

The earliest recorded history of boxing in America is one of a public spectacle. At that point in time, the matches were fought bare knuckles. There were no-holds-barred combats that were encouraged. The boxing exhibited then included wrestling. Spectators formed the ring, and the absence of a referee and time limit made the sport a brutal affair. The primitive sports psychology applied was ‘fight till one man is finished’. Boxing bouts used to last for hours. The boxers were allowed to choke, throw, and kick their opponents. There was no ‘weight’ category, and neither were victors recognized officially. The sport was brutal and bloody.

African-American boxing involved bouts between Black American and Hispanic American boxers, and at times, even Native Americans who were victims of slavery. They were betted on by their wealthy southern masters. The first great slave fighter known was Tom Molineaux. He won his freedom after knocking out a rival from an adjoining plantation. The fights were soon categorized into sports betting or prize fighting and sparring. In the former, the boxers fought for money, with bare knuckles. The bouts were often against local laws. In sparring, the combatants wore gloves and displayed a new kind of ‘science’ associated with the moves in the ring. The techniques were used, not for a purse or to inflict bodily harm, but to take the sport to the next level. Sparring was exhibited as a genuine sport at exhibitions and private gymnasiums. This was probably the era that marked the beginning of extreme sports.

Earliest Rules

The earliest set of rules laid-down included:

  • No hitting below the belt
  • No hitting an opponent who was ‘down’ in the ring
  • No wrestling holds below the waist
  • 30-second rest periods
  • Knockdown spelled round over

In 1866, the Marquis of Queensberry laid down a set of glove fighting rules that included:

  • Compulsory use of gloves
  • No wrestling
  • Rounds lasting three minutes
  • Rest period of one minute
  • Recovery period of ten seconds after knockdown

The Early Heroes of American Boxing

Tom Molineaux, a slave boxer: He ‘won his freedom’ in 1809 and went to England. There, he fought several times between 1810 and 1811, finally losing out to Tom Crib, the English champion.

Christopher Lilly: He is best remembered for defeating Thomas McCoy in a bout that lasted for a whole two hours and forty-one minutes! McCoy died in the 77th round due to fluid from wounds draining into the lungs. He had ‘drowned’! However, the match attracted immediate legal response.

John C. Heenen and Thomas Sayers: They enhanced their sports careers on becoming the first recorded joint winners of a bout. The fight took place on April 17, 1860, in Hampshire, England.

John L. Sullivan: Popular as the ‘Boston Strong Boy’, he became America’s first ‘sports hero’. He was known to be an honest fighter, who could adapt to any set of rules. He refused to fight a black, and knew nothing of the science of the ring, but he had a knockout punch.

American boxing developed out of sheer show of strength, but evolved into a sport that enabled many strong-willed and able-bodied men to ‘find’ the power of resilience.

Boxing Equipment Explained

Equipment Used in Boxing

Ireland Country Pride Heavy Bag
This is manufactured from patented synthetic leather. All seams are sewn from nylon and double stitched. D-ring tabs are reinforced triple times for stability and durability. A special blended filler absorbs impact and adds resiliency.

Heavy Bag Stand with Adjustable Speed Bag Platform
This is made from 2⅜-inch tubular powder coated steel. Also, there is a 24-inch wooden speed bag platform. There is a shortened base that provides unrestricted access to the speed bag. Screw-down plates are used for solid floor mounting.

TKO Boxing Training Set
This includes a pair of bag gloves, a mesh carrying bag, two leather focus targets, and a jump rope. This set is a great starters-kit for boxing enthusiasts.

Johnny Sockitomee

  • There is a flex neck collar that provides maximum flexibility and resilience to absorb the impact of punishing blows.
  • It has a sturdy base that holds up to 24 gallons of water.
  • The high-density base is rounded for an easy roll-away.
  • The nevatear outer shell overcomes mildew and wipes clean with a damp cloth.

Brain Pad Pro+Plus

  • Upper and lower bite channels.
  • Double mouth guard.
  • Strap and strapless mouth guard with two straps.

Power hands

  • This is manufactured from high-quality and washable Nubuck leather.
  • The Terry-lined palm provides additional padding and protection.
  • The design is fingers-free, and decreases heat and moisture buildup. There is an absence of the bulky feel as compared to other gloves.
  • A wide 2-inch cuff secures the wrists in a safe and ergonomic position while training.

6-piece Speed Bag Set

  • This has extremely durable powder-coated enamel brackets.
  • Vinyl bag gloves.
  • Nylon jump rope.
  • One pair of natural color hand wraps.
  • Upgraded plastic swivel.
  • 24-inch, smoothly furnished, adjustable, and wooden drum.

Types of Boxing Gloves

The main use of gloves is to safeguard the knuckles of the fighter. Nowadays, extra padding is used that coerces the boxers to input extra strategy, rather than use pure brute force. Given below are some types of gloves used in this sport.

Practice Boxing Gloves

  • Elastic wrist furnishes a secure fit, and there is no necessity of laces.
  • High-density foam is both lightweight and shock-absorbing.
  • Tied thumbs.
  • Cotton-fiber cushioned grip for additional contact.

Laceup Boxing Gloves

  • Comfortable fit with handwraps.
  • Laces for a tight, professional fit.
  • Ideal for sparring, cardio programs, or simply practicing on the bag.
  • Soft-cell foam for superior protection and comfort.

Bag Gloves

  • Soft-cell foam for superior protection and comfort.
  • Ideal for use on speed bags, heavy bags, double-end bags or focus mitts.
  • Good for power training and speed.
  • Powertek material construction for durability.

Fight Boxing Gloves
French style full contact fight gloves with a wide elastic closing.

Boxing Sports Gloves
Sparing glove with padding at the palm area. A short hook and loop wrist closing for easy on and off.

Punching Boxing Gloves
Super sparring gloves specially devised for the modern game, and has thick padding at the back and extra padding at the palms to absorb kicks while training for Thai boxing.

Boxing Bag Gloves
All-time favorite sparring gloves manufactured with extra cushions on the inside for hand comfort and a snug fit.

Leather Boxing Gloves
Professional fighting glove with multiple-layer rubber padding, lace style, and extra piece foam for added comfort.

Training Boxing Gloves
Heavy hitter lace-up training boxing gloves with soft, extra-thick high-density rubber padding for the gloves.

Focus Mitts

  • Full hand pocket.
  • Wrist wrap and adjustable buckle.
  • Shock-absorbing foam.
  • Useful for boxing, kickboxing, boxing aerobics, or MA needs.

Boxing Headgear

  • Rubber padding which absorbs shock.
  • Thickly-padded with cheek protection.
  • Designed protection and durability with velcro closure.
  • Adjustable.

Speedbag

  • Reinforced loops.
  • Laceup for easy bladder removal.
  • Triple-stitched seams to ensure quality and durability.
  • 9 inches in size.
  • Lined for additional durability.

Depending on the type of boxing and your training routine, you need to choose the right gear to suit your needs.