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Charity Boxing Event Training

I don’t really post on this site, but I’ve read a lot of the articles and spent some time reading through the combat postings. I’m going to be “competing” in a white-collar/charity style boxing event this November, giving me about 5 or so months to prepare. I’ve been training for a year and have some experience sparring. If anyone wants to give me some advice, I’m all ears.

I have two big training challenges. First, my back is a little jacked up and I tweak it from time to time. I did so this Sat while sparring. Will sideline me for about a week. My approach here is to focus on doing Stuart McGill’s suggested back exercises on a daily basis as well as foam rolling/stretching/sauna.

The second challenge is my job. I’m a lawyer and can work up to 100 hr weeks. Obviously that much sitting doesn’t help my back and the lack of sleep/stress hurts my training.

The current game plan has been a Wendler 2x a week lifting routine (A Day: Squat, Bench and B Day: Cleans, Press), sparring once a week, and as much running/boxing as my body and schedule will allow. I’m thinking of really only doing light weights from here on out and focusing on pushups/pullups/back exercises in the interest of not injuring my back. I realize the most important thing is going to be technique, relaxation and conditioning, but I do tend to get pretty soft without weights which is why I’ve kept it as part of the routine.

What is your actual boxing background? Do you have access to a boxing coach? IMO working with a reputable coach and sparring/drilling as regularly as your schedule allows will be critical. If time and recovery challenges are limiting you to just one boxing session a week, I really think you should restructure your training to include more boxing and less other stuff.

There have been numerous threads on this board in the past concerning this topic, if you wanted to do some digging.

In short, fwiw, I think that, along with taking proper care of your back, you will get the best value from sparring, padwork/skills drills, jump rope, running and calisthenics under the supervision of a good coach 3-4x/wk as a bare minimum. Gradually increase volume and intensity as you adjust to the new workload. If you can fit in lifting as well, great, but it should be a lower priority.

Also, make it a point to get up and move around as much as possible throughout the day (stairs, basic mobility exercises, a few short sets of pushups/calesthenics etc.)

Train hard, fight easy.

Yeah, I have a good boxing coach and I work with him 2x a week. Try box on my own 2-3x a week as well, so I’m usually jumping rope/shadowboxing/heavy bag at least 4-5x a week. I think once I get closer to fight time, I’ll increase sparring to 2x a week. That’s a good point since it is the most crucial element.

Ditch the weights. with 5 months til your first fight, already with a dodgy back, you need to box hard and rest well. Spar as often as possible. If this is a one off rather than the start of a long amateur career, I would be inclined to spar more than 2 x per week if the opportunities present themselves.

I don’t want to come across disrespectful, as that is not my intention, but I have helped coach a couple of white collar guys and seen a few white collar fights, and the standard is pretty low. If you can get good sparring in a proper boxing gym with blue collar boxers, you should steam roller anyone you are put up against in a white collar match.

But as was mentioned above, with 5 months good training, you can do a lot. Use your time wisely, which imho, means losing the weights. There are some here who will tell you that they form a valuable part of a boxer’s regime, and they may be good fighters, but I personally don’t think it should form any part of a beginner/intermediate routine. Train to fight, not to lift, and rest well.

Dont worry to much about ‘getting soft’ without weights. Six packs don’t make u a fighter. One of the best amateurs I’ve ever seen did not have a visable ab (although he was clearly not fat and in extremely good condition).

Appreciate the advice. I agree with you w/r/t the quality of boxing.

Very good advice from everyone who has posted. Listen and do what they say, with your work schedule and time frame, weight training is secondary. There is not really much else that can be said, except following the above instructions. Remember, the hardest thing about any fight training is staying focused on your goal. Your goal is to fight in November, so worry about your bench press in December. Take a clue from Irish and try to post a video of your pad work-training. Its always good to have other fighters look at your training style and movement.

One story of personal experience: A group of military buddies organized a charity fight, to raise money for a child’s surgery. Nobody took it lightly and all showed up with blood in their eye. Just because it is a “white/collar” charity fight dont make it easy, train hard, win for a good cause. Good Luck.

I have a couple videos that I can post. To be honest, I’m not especially concerned with the charity aspect, I really just want to box and I’m too old/busy to compete seriously.

This a clip of me (blue shorts/red headgear) doing some light sparring. Happy to hear any advice. I know I’m dropping my right, moving my head back and standing too square.

First off, props for posting a video.

All of what follows is meant to be constructive, and hopefully objective.

  1. You don’t just drop your right, you drop your left as well. at 1:04, you eat a clean jab and your response is to drop both hands. Avoid doing that in a fight, you’ll definitely get stopped against anyone halfway competent. It might just be the angle of the camera, but to me it looks like you hang your chin out a lot. Hands down chin out is something you can only get away with after years of experience, and generally only when you are out of range of your opponent.

  2. You reach with your defence far too much. Don’t paw at jabs and crosses, because you’ll leave yourself open to hooks. The style that will win your white collar match is to keep your guard tight, and throw crisp straight punches.

  3. Too much bobbing about and wasted movement when you are out of range. You look tense, and you aren’t experienced enough to do it well. You end up signalling your punches, for example that right to the body where you got countered in the face. Your sparring partner saw it coming a mile off. Just relax, don’t waste your energy when you are out of range. Don’t try and do too much too soon. Concentrate on doing the basics well. Straight crisp punches, and tight defence.

  4. You definitely need to concentrate on getting more snap into your punches. You created some good openings for yourself, you want to hit crisply enough to fully capitalise.

The positives:

  1. You have some genuine fight in you, and you press the action well. You don’t leap in too much and you choose your times to attack well, created good opportunities, and if you sorted your telegraphing bobbing out you would land a lot more punches cleanly.

  2. You actually showed some variety in your punches, as well as good ability to slip punches, and then attack off a different angle. That is a skill that many guys much more experienced than you still haven’t worked out.

  3. You kept up a good rate of activity throughout the round, and controlled the ring well.

Thanks, appreciate the advice. I’ll post another video once I’ve had more of an opportunity to spar. I think more than anything I just need to log more rounds and calm down in the ring.

Getting into the home stretch. 63 days/9 weeks to go and trying to step up training. I’ve posted my most recent sparring session above.

First off, looks like you’ve come on a lot since that first session you posted. Conditioning looks much better, the jab is looking great, defence looks a lot more solid.

Have you upped the amount of time you’ve spent in the ring? Did you ditch the weights?

You are still dropping your right hand when you throw the jab a lot, and towards the end there you were hanging your chin out most times you threw a punch. Really try and focus on cutting that out, or it could cost you. You are also doing good work with your straight punches in combination, and your approach work is good, but you keep letting your sparring partner off when you get him on the ropes. Thats when you have to keep stepping in behind those punches, and really get everything out of the opportunity. You will end up clinched or with the opponent getting out the side, so don’t be afraid to get in the mix and do some close work. Just keep those hands up, and try and come in low or from an angle.

Thanks. I did take your advice and I’ve cut out all lifting. I just do pull ups, dips and pushups at the end of boxing workouts. I’m really trying to get in 2 sparring sessions a week from here on out but I can really only count on having someone to work with on Saturdays.

I see what you mean about the right hand dropping. I think it gets worse when I throw multiple jabs. I’m also trying to work on keeping my shoulder up/chin down when I punch.

I can tell. It’s miraculous. Stopping lifting to focus on boxing results in a visible increase in boxing ability in a short space of time for most people. You’re a perfect example of that. You have made a visible improvement in ability in the space of a few weeks. You are obviously training well. Keep it up and you should feel VERY confident come fight night.

Can you get a good few rounds in on your saturday session? I think a good long, high quality sparring session at the end of the week is actually very beneficial, because it gives you time to work on things, and then try them out live at the end of the week before taking a rest day.

You’re right about it dropping when you throw multiple jabs. Hold a golf ball, or something small against the side of your cheek and practise working the jab on the heavy bag. Doubles, triples, quadrouples. Every time it drops, 10 pressups. have your coach enforce this. You will cut the bad habit out inside a week. This drill is miserable. It focuses the mind well

Good advice. Thanks again for the help.

I won’t try to improve on anything London has said. I just want to compliment you on all the hard work you’ve obviously put in. Way to stay the course.

Keep it up and I’m sure you’ll be really solid come fight night.



Thanks again for the advice. I’ve got two more questions - 1) game plan and 2) tapering plan.


I sparred with the guy I’m going to fight last week - really tried to take it easy and not give anything away and he did the same thing (I’m in gray and blue which appear to be the only workout clothes I own).

Round 1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-cGeQ7irLA&feature=youtube

Round 2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pKoOTMEb8w&feature=youtube

I found a video from 2008 where he did another charity event (he’s in red trunks). I bet this is how he’ll come out for the bout. He charges in head first and throws a lot of wild hooks.

From watching him in the gym and from his fight tape I’d break him down like this:


  • Aggressive/doesn’t mind taking a shot
  • Quick hands
  • Good head movement


  • Exposes his head coming forward
  • He is probably 5’8" and is a little soft (not that i’m at 5% bf) - I’ve got height, reach and probably strength/conditioning over him
  • Keeps his left hand down when he is close in
  • Wild hooks leave him exposed
  • Messes up his range - he gets too close and should be fight from mid-range instead
  • Tires in 2nd/3rd

My game plan:

  • Fight tall - I need to pressure him more aggressively with the jabs/straight rights. Move around and make him fight at my range.
  • Forearm crush and uppercuts when his gets close.
  • Hook/uppercut if he comes in with his head exposed.
  • I’m pretty confident in my conditioning and I think in the 2nd/3rd I can use it as a weapon
  • Need to work on letting my hands go


Based on plan on what I’ve read on a couple boxing forums.

Sat - Last sparring session (close to fight, but honestly I could use the exp)
Sun - Light training and last hard cardio session (been erging instead of running due to achilles)
Mon - OFF
Tues - Light training session and sports massage
Weds - OFF (sauna and light stretch)
Thurs - Fight Night

Ok, I’ve watched all four videos, only once each, so take the following how you will.

Your current weaknesses, some of which you have identified above:

  1. You don’t throw enough punches
  2. Your punches don’t seem to be either aimed at his head or his body. Make them count. If you are going for his head, hit him in the fucking head. If you want to hit him in the body, sit right down on your punch and punch him somewhere it’s going to fucking hurt. Bad intentions are key, and your punches won’t have bad intentions if you don’t throw them with specific intent.
  3. Stand up straight. Seriously, it could be the difference between winning and losing in this fight. You have range, yet you crouch down low and take that advantage away from yourself. In doing so, you lean forward, which will lead to you getting knocked out.

Game plan.

1 Stay on your toes, throw 10 x as many jabs. Quite literally that many more. Double up more, triple up more, quadruple up more. Dictate the range, at all times, and move, don’t let him run in head down.
2 When he does get inside, if he comes in head down, push him into the floor. Seriously, not enough gets done in the amateurs on guys leading with their heads, and it’ll go unpunished. Use your height, and lean on him, drive his head down with your forearms, make it fucking uncomfortable for him. You’ve got to make that tactic something he doesn’t want to do, cos then he has to box, and that is to your advantage.
3 Vary your jabs. Head and body. Jab more to the body when a guy carries his lead hand low. Do it several times in quick succession,then feint to the body and commit to the right hand over the top. This guy is VERY easy to KO.
4. Commit to your punches. You could win this fight with just the jab, but from the information you’ve shared so far, you probably aren’t experienced enough to comprehensively out box him on your toes consistently for 3 rounds. That means that at some points, you’re going to have to make him respect your power. Jab and move, but be prepared to step in behind your punches and commit to a hard 1-2, then get back up on your toes again, or grab the little fucker.
5. He does seem to lean back a lot to avoid punches and end up squared up. If you see him doing that, step in and throw a lot of straight punches. Get him off balance, it’s a cheap knockdown and you have to make those count.
6 The guy he fought took the fight to him, and got bossed by a smaller more aggressive fighter, who was better suited to an inside game. Don’t do that.

Good luck

Oh and tapering, I would just not spar heavy for 2 days before the fight. If you’re at weight, and you aren’t a pro, it’ll only benefit you.

Really, do whatever suits you, as long as you don’t go into the ring beat up or sore. Personally, I used to spar hard on Monday night, and then just a few rounds about 80% on Wednesday night before a Friday fight. Plenty of good guys in my gym took the week before off sparring, because they liked to relax and stay calm before the fight. I was the opposite, as I am overly calm by nature, and found I could carry constructive aggression over to a fight if i’d had some hard aggressive sparring in the days before hand.

Hard to explain, but basically, if the extra sparring will make you more confident and do you some good, then do it. If you can spar on monday night, then go for it, but leave a little in the tank. Go hard with conscious focus on technique, and you’ll end up about 80%.