T Nation

First Spar with Boxing

Last night I had my first spar match along with a fellow green boxer. Our instructor said not to kill each other, just get the feel of it. That we weren’t knocking each other out.
I go into the fight thinking ill work on my jab and my duck and weaves. Which I did.
But the guy I boxed was insane. Every time I jabbed him and caught him in the nose, his face would turn blood red and he would come at me with these cray knockout combos. And wouldn’t back off when he was getting a few hard hits in.

At one point I started yelling at him to calm down that we weren’t fighting! Just sparring.
I was un comfortable when he started with those crazy wide combos. And would back my self into the ropes, making his beatings worse on me.

I’m kinda aggravated with the whole situation! Any suggestions or words of advise?

And our instructor had to leave prior and left a more experienced fighter in charge.

Your instructor should not have left if this is the FIRST legitimate sparring session for both of you.

The other experiened fighter should have intsructed the other guy to tone it down. I’m going to assume he didn’t because he was being entertained as opposed to being oblivious to what was happening.

This is the prime example of what SHOULD NOT be done during sparring, ESPECIALLY when it’s the first few times you’re stepping through the ring ropes.

Tell your coach immediately. That other fighter should not be running sparring if that’s what’s going on. Guys cannot be getting angry when they’re in there, and that sounds like it could have been a truly dangerous situation for you.

If that happens again, plant the guy in the balls and then take your gloves off and leave. Fuck that.

I agree sort of with the guys above, at least whilst you’re new. Your first spar should have been properly supervised, and you should have had plenty of feedback between rounds. Same goes for your first 50 odd spars. You should be encouraged and brought into the sport well. That said, this is a fight sport, and to be honest with you I can’t remember the last time I went less than about 95% with a guy who knew what they were doing. You definitely shouldn’t have been in a situation where a guy was going crazy on you, but at the same time, in boxing, you are going to find yourself in the ring with guys who want to fuck you up like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been in with a guy who had done serious time, covered in tattoos that talked about his various prejudices, and who was literally foaming at the mouth like he was a nutter, and who kept telling me he was going to kill me and fuck my corpse, and other words to that effect. Sparring should be controlled, but it should also prepare you to fight, against any opponent.

So, with that in mind, if the situation happens again, you’ve seen what happens when you try and shelter on the ropes. It does you no good, and gets you a beating. Boxing is about stamping your authority on another man. You need to accept that if you keep backing off, you’re going to get smashed. Ideally you wont find yourself faced with it again. If you are, you can either throw in the towel and survive, or you can step in and smash the fucker. Doesn’t have to be pretty. If he can’t control himself, he has lost the right to your respect. Keep your hands high, and throw hard straight punches. Step in with your head down and catch him with it if needs be, as realistically the guy is not going to catch you with uppercuts at such a ‘green’ level. Seriously, as Irish and Egghead said, this situation shouldn’t arise. If it does, you have to handle that shit and teach the guy a lesson.

Ill keep all that in mind.

I agree that I need to be prepared. Just want to be taught right as you said.
On Friday, the guy that overlooked the fight is gonna spar with me and work with me, hopefully show me some of my mistakes. Then next Tuesday I’m suppose to spar the other green guy again. Ill do as you said not back up and smash him .
Be more confident on what I’m training.

Ill keep y’all posted .

I’ll also agree with egg, Irish, and London, unless it’s an actual fight (or you’ve both agreed that it’s going to be a “hard spar” ahead of time) then rule number one (well, maybe number 2 behind “protect yourself at all times”) should be that you both need to be able to keep your composure and remain technical.

As long as that holds true then you can go as hard as you can both handle (which ties into London’s point about sparring becoming more intense as experience and skill improved). Obviously your opponent did not understand that, but consider that perhaps you were going a bit hard with your jabs as well (may not be the case, but judging by his reaction it may have been).

It seems like this guy is slow, and can’t block or dodge your jabs. They also infuriate him. Which really speaks to his inexperience. He will either improve or he will leave. Maybe speak to him in a non confrontation environment about the heavy hitting, and shake his hand. I know that once in the ring, for sparring or padwork, many people stop communicating and put up a front. This is common and normal. Get hold of this guy outside the ring and talk to him. Because if you guys are near or at the same level, then you’ll probably spar with him again. This can be resolved amicably. Otherwise: jab, jab, jab, jab, jab.

And Sento, I have to concur with the “protect yourself at all times” point. I’d say that many fighters forget that it includes a mouth guard, head gear and larger gloves as a standard for sparring.

This situation comes up A LOT everywhere I have sparred. I think as time goes on you will learn to get a feel for how your opponent or “training partner” reacts and engages. A lot of people once they get hit they start to feel like they are losing or that you are better than them and the adrenaline etc. starts to kick in and they start to hit harder and become more aggressive. It is pretty natural. However to be a good fighter, in the street or the ring, you need to be able to control those feelings and use the techniques so you can land the good shots and not go rushing in like a madman. If the guy you were sparring did that to a more experienced guy he would have gotten punished.

I have been on both ends of that situation and that is why I can understand it. I used to always get paired with a guy who honestly was not that good and I would pop him with combos…not even hard… but because his guard was down and he he was moving into me it made it worse for him. Dude would get mad and charge in with his head down swinging some outside punches or whatever which got him a good uppercut. We had moments where the anger was there and he even tried to take it out on me in ground training as well. However I learned a respect for this guy because he really is tough as nails. We learned from each other and he got better at not putting his face down.

Just work your stuff and try not to put to much power behind it but be prepared to let him have it if it comes to that. You might have to make him respect you and show that wild punching like that can get your face jacked up.