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Biggest Step from Amateurs to Pro Boxing?


What do you guys think the biggest learning curve/step is for amateurs stepping into the pro game?

Obviously there is the immense different in pacing and scoring, with amateurs being more of a frantic pace and pros having to manage their stamina over many more rounds, but otherwise what do you think is the biggest change for amateurs coming into the pro game, be it something on a technical level or on a mental level.

It seems to me one of the biggest differences on a technical level is timing. Not a lot of amateurs have the ability to precisely time punches and land brilliant counter punches, a lot of amateurs, even the very skilled ones, are essentially just throwing when they think there is an opportunity and hoping it lands, somewhat haphazardly at times, the precision is not on the same level.


I don't know if you're asking about boxing or MMA, and I can only talk from a boxing perspective.

The best way for you to get an idea, would be to spar with a pro. It's honestly a very different ball game in boxing, almost a different sport. I have a style where I would make a better pro than amateur, since I am not a great volume puncher, and I do best fighting off the back foot. From my experience, if you fight as I do, you spend a lot of your time catching and slipping punches that are relatively ineffective. In the amateur game, you sort of have to do that, otherwise someone will just outscore you with pitty patty punches. The actual time you're in the ring isn't long enough to wear someone down, or for a fit guy to have to pace themselves. So, in my experience, although I have won many more than I have lost, I have lost a fair few bouts on points against guys I am confident I'd hammer over a longer duration, and with a scoring system that didn't reward feather fisted punches. To give you an idea, I once lost a decision (away) by 16 points, and I didn't have a mark on me at the end of the bout.

By contrast, from the few pros I've sparred, the emphasis is much more on landing hurtful shots. Fewer, higher quality punches, with more commitment behind each one. The pros aren't so worried about leaving themselves open to ineffective punches, that would score in amatuer competitions. Also, watch a pro bout, and then watch an amateur bout. In the amateurs, most guys dont use angles all that much. They regularly go straight backwards/forwards in a fairly predictable way. Pros are much better at stepping off, using their opponent's momentum against them. In the amateurs, it is often just a melee of punches, and it is hard to throw effective punches when you opponent is throwing feather punches at you in high volumes. by contrast, the pros want you to punch, because that is when you leave yourself open. The pro game is a much more scientific one, in my opinion.


Same here, I've lost a decision before where I could swear the guy only landed maybe twice clean on my face during the whole bout, and the rest was either slipped or caught on my shoulders. I came out with very bruised arms and not a mark on my face, he came out with a broken nose and a busted lip, yet somehow he got the decision.

In that particular situation however, I did have my suspicions about the quality of judging at the event rather than the system itself.


In MMA the difference is less stark, just because the punch volume tends to be much lower. Also, the rules differences with regards to protection and allowed strikes tend to mean that pros are much more cautious, the odds of a single good shot rocking you are much higher.

What I found is that pro level MMA fighters blend their techniques a lot better than amateurs. Even the strike-heavy guys can shoot or pull guard well enough when needed, and the wrestlers and jiu-jitsu guys can all throw a good enough punch to be dangerous. There are no more real "striker-only" or "grapple-only" guys at even the weakest pro event, and they all transition better and faster than the amateurs.

The most dangerous moments in amateur were when both guys had some time to work in a particular position, whereas with the pros it's the moment the clinch starts or breaks, or right when one guy's shoulders hit the mat. Everything happens much faster, the decision-making takes much less time, and everyone can close the deal.


I think a lot of amateur guys just don't relax enough to be fluid and think about the shots. Its harder when you have another amateur coming out swinging for the fences on you. There is a whole lot going on in there and experience allows you to focus more on the finer points. So I think one of the biggest learning curve is to be able to look at the skills you have and figure out how to employ them based on what you see from your opponent. Conversely the ammy guy is more than likely trying to use any weapon he can to hurt the other guy and not looking where he should be to set up the next attack.


my comment was to full of anger towards mma to post


You'll be happy this year then as the scoring rules are chaging to bring the amateurs closer to the pros. My coach says they're even talking about getting rid of teh headguards next season.


That and going down to 10 oz gloves would be great.


Ye, that would be awesome. My Dad and Uncle, who were both top national amateurs just after the war, rip on me the whole time (good natured, of course) because of how 'soft' it has become. It definitely changes the complexion of the sport. I, for one, am confident that more than half my losses would have been victories with smaller gloves and no headguards.


A quick google search found this article where they touch on the amateurs moving towards a more professional style:


My coach says that this has already started as the scoring has changed so that only hard hits count (so no more light flurries scoring). Also, my old sparring partner has just turned "Neo-Pro" (I'm in France and that's how it's called here), meaning that he can compete in the national championship while having his first few pro fights.

So just stick with your style for now!


I just want to say this is fantastic news, if true.


Robert A


The chairman of the French boxing association was talking about it in their periodical, so it seems that it's at least under serious consideration.

Whatever happens in the future, our coach is training us to win fights in a different manner from last year that focuses more on landing quality shots that hurt rather than throwing flurries to get the judge's buttons pressed as much as possible. Apparently the way they score has changed too but I didn't fully understand as he explained it in French and I'm English...


1) In redgards to boxing, as an above poster has mentioned. I believe the dominate angle of attack seperates alot of pro's and ammys. Alot of amateurs I have trained with, move simply 2 dimensional. In and out, side to side. Cutting at a 45 degree angle is more of a professional way of thinking, but more simle, reacting. The instinct to move around the punch, and not just to move around it, but strike while doing so or as soon as your slight movement stops. Versus the ammy guys who like to back up on a large wild swing, or side step on a powerful straight. Versus that cut in, they just don't seem to have that reaction time which is my second point.

2) The reaction times. Alot of pros seem to respond to things, again as mentioned above, much swifter. To see an avalance of strikes comming your way, remaning calm, and relaxing, taking appropriate action, acknowledging the destination of a strike, appropriatly moving around said strike, and attacking with appropriate reach, and strike/combinations. Alot of ammys get overwhelmed, and this emotional state dramatically cuts down anyone's reaction time, professional or not. Its remaning calm that allows time to be calm and still, and pro's have this within thier being, not just knowledge. Many don't even know they do it, it just becomes habit and apart of thier character, to not react, but respond.

3) From a Mixed Martial Artist standpoint, I would suggest a huge learning curve, as most MMA's are much more well rounded today, the fact of knowing simplicity in complexity. The skill of the pro's today make everything look easy, in which most cases it is, such as going from a leg kick, imediatly moving around a 2 or three punch combo as a 'scared' or 'startled' response, into the a take down, maybe failing on the take down and jumping right back up avoiding being pulled down and immediatly back to kicking and on the offense. The transition of one aspect of the fight to the next like its second nature. My point being, alot of ammy guys think too much, and dont just let it be. The thought process of, 'ok were standing' 'ok now I am in a clinch' 'ok he just tried to take me down, are we standing? yes/no' 'oh im on the ground'. These, however in most cases very short, miliseconds if even that, its the aknowledgement of the transition, versus the allowance of a transition to just be. I guess that re inforces reaction times, however this is just based of my own personal experience, in which was a learning curve I once had to overcome myself. All three points my be very uniquely different in your view, but from my experience, three noticable things I have picked up on, not even just ammy to pro, but even the TOP pro's, vs entry level pro's. Happy training fellas.