Training And Preparing For Your First Boxing Match -Ultimate Guide | Boxing Addicts (2023)

Training And Preparing For Your First Boxing Match -Ultimate Guide | Boxing Addicts (1)

Preparing for your first fight can be a big deal. All of your friends and maybe your family will be watching and you will be eager to perform and get the win.

The absolute best thing you can do to give a good account of yourself on the night is to have the best preparation possible. That old Muhammad Ali saying ” the fight is won far away from the bright lights” couldn’t be more true. If you and your opponent are both equally skilled then the one who is in better condition will win the fight.

By the time the fight comes around, you will either be ready or not, so start early, train hard, train smart and follow the advice of those people who have been there and done it before, especially your coach.

Table of Contents

Don’t Fight Too Early

When you start training you might be thinking about getting a fight straight away. I would recommend to train for at least 6-months before you think about having an amateur fight. This will allow you to protect your techniques and drill your combinations into muscle memory.

If you keep fighting, eventually you’re going to be matched against better and better opponents so you should wait until you have a good base level of skills before jumping in the ring so you don’t get over matched too early.

Give Yourself 8 Weeks To Get Fully Ready

In an ideal world, 8-weeks is the perfect time frame to get in the best shape possible for a fight. It will allow you to develop all areas of your conditioning so that you are in peak condition when the fight rolls around.

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3 Energy Systems To Prepare

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The Aerobic System

This is your body’s ability to fuel itself with oxygen during exercise. Steady state cardio like running or jumping rope is perfect for developing the aerobic system. Aerobic exercise usually lasts from between 1-minute and 60 minutes.

A good aerobic base is like a foundation for building your boxing fitness. The system should be built as far away from your fight as possible and you should move to more intense training as the fight gets closer.

The Anaerobic System

This is intense exercise, between 5 seconds and 1 minutes in duration. During anaerobic exercise, the muscles can’t refuel with oxygen which causes lactic acid to build up in your arms and this is why your arms feel tired during boxing.

The anaerobic system is going to be the most important in your fight and you should spend the most time developing the system with exercises like pad work, bag work, sparing, drills, circuits, sprints and strength training.

The Alactic System

This is the amount of force you can generate, is your one rep max. It’s short duration, 1 to 5 seconds like throwing a knockout punch or combo to finish the fight.

This refers to your power and heavy strength training will build a base for increasing this power in the boxing gym.


Running is the best way to build your aerobic system and from weeks 8 to 4 we should be looking at Long runs of 10K at least once a week with maybe another 5K run if you can fit it in.

This will build your lung capacity and condition your legs for moving around the ring. As the fight gets closer, you should be doing fast 5K runs and transitioning to sprints/hill sprints in weeks 4 to 1.

Swimming and spinning classes are also good choices for building aerobic conditioning.

Jumping Rope Or Skipping

Not only does jumping rope build aerobic capacity it also increases the coordination between your hands and feet which is crucial for boxing. That makes jumping rope important, especially for beginners.

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Roger Mayweather even said that jumping rope was the key to being a great fighter.

Jumping rope also builds the calves and leg muscles and increases arm endurance for throwing punches. If you could do three, 3 minute rounds every day leading up to your fight, even at home, that will be great preparation.

Pad Work

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Working on the pads with an experienced coach is one of the most important things you can do in the build up. They should be able to correct basic flaws in your game like dropping your right hand when you throw a left hook and not keeping your hands up in general.

They can also guide you through the rounds, teach you the proper footwork and pivoting and let you know how to move your head.

They can teach you how to throw good counters, build up your defence and avoid your opponent’s counter punches. The pads are also a great workout increasing your conditioning, stamina and endurance.

Shadow boxing

Shadow boxing can seem awkward at first, but all the top fighters put a lot of emphasis on it. Shadow boxing is not only great to warm up but it’s also perfect for visualising yourself in the ring against your opponent and landing your favourite combos while perfecting your technique.

You can work on your footwork, your head movement, pivoting after the left hook and perfecting any new skills and techniques you’ve been learning. You can even shadow box with light dumbbells, under 3 lbs to increase your arm endurance, punching power and speed.

Heavy Bag

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The heavy bag is great for increasing your punching power and arm endurance. It’s also great for practicing your combos but it can teach some bad habits, like keeping your hands low because it doesn’t hit back. Remember to keep your hands up and bring your punching hand back to the chin just as quickly as you threw it.

Heavy bag is also great for speed and power drills which can be a pivotal part of getting in fighting condition.

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Speed Bag

The speed bag is great for building endurance in the arms and shoulders and it’s also really good for increasing hand eye coordination and just becoming an all round better boxer.

Circuits And Core

Circuits are great for building muscle endurance, conditioning and increasing core strength. Building a solid core that can take a punch is also quite important. Circuits can build your anaerobic threshold by making you work continuously on different stations for 3-minute rounds. It simulates how hard you have to work in a fight but it also increases you’re all around muscle conditioning and endurance.

Work the core separately at home if you have to, with planks, sit ups, mountain climbers in sets without taking a break.


This is your chance to practice all of your offensive and defensive skills. This is going to be the most important practice before your fight. Remember not to go full force in sparring but work at 80% with your partner so you can both improve your skills.

If you’re fighting for 3 rounds, spar for at least 6 or 12 round once a week to make sure you are in the condition for 3 hard rounds on fight night. Pick up the intensity in the last couple of weeks to 90% or even 100% if both fighters want to go all out.

Strength Training

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Outside the gym there’ll be other things that can really help. Strength training at least twice a week as far out from the fight as possible will increase your punching power.

Strength training involves compound lifts, with heavy weights for a low number of reps. Five by five training with deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press and pull-ups will increase your strength and allow you to develop your power for the ring without building useless muscle.

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Sprints & Hills

Sprints are great for increasing your anaerobic threshold and make you able to sustain a flurry of punches for longer and with more power. You should be looking at adding sprints increasingly with about 4 weeks to go to your fight. Hill sprints are even better for getting you in peak anaerobic condition.

Sled Runs

Loading up a sled with weights and pushing it back and forth across the gym floor is a great way to build your anaerobic capacity, leg strength and overall strength for fighting.

The Diet

You want to use your diet to get as much nutrition as possible. Good lean meats, eggs and plenty of vegetables will give you all the nutrition and protein you need to recover and repair your body. Starchy carbs like whole wheat pasta and spaghetti are perfect for fuelling intense workouts.

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After training, your body will be low in glycogen levels so having a protein shake or smoothie afterwards will help you to recover as quickly as possible.

Rest & Recovery

Remember to get good rest after every intense session. Try to get a good night sleep every night of at least 8 hours. Go for a massage when your muscles are sore and try to avoid alcohol.

The Week Of Your Fight

Try to have your last hard sparring, one week before your fight and that should be the end of your hard training. You can still go to the gym and lightly hit the bags or do some very light sparring just to move around the ring but all the hard work should be done with 1 week to go.

After that, it’s all about fuelling your body with the proper nutrition, making sure you make the weight and trying to remain as relaxed as possible.

Staying Calm And Relaxed

Every fighter feels edgy and anxious the week before a fight so you need to do your best to deal with these nerves, visualise victory and keep yourself occupied with watching movies, going to the cinema and playing the PS4 or however you would like to keep busy.

Have A Game Plan

You should know what your strengths are in the ring, if you’re tall it might be straight punches, if you’re short and stocky you might want to get inside and throw powerful hooks.

However you like to fight, you should have a game plan and you should be visualising how you are going to execute it.

The Day Before & Fight Day

The night before the fight, try to stay calm and relaxed and get a good night’s sleep. When you wake up you should be focused on enjoying the fight, doing your best and hopefully getting your hand raised.

When You Get In The Ring

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During the fight, make sure to stick to your game plan, keep your chin protected at all times, do your best and just enjoy it.

Win, Lose or Draw, you have achieved something that everybody wants to do, but not everybody has had the balls to actually achieve. Give yourself a pat on the back and even if you lost you can always go again.

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How long does it take to prepare for your first fight? ›

For most boxers, it takes between 4-12 months before signing up for their first bout. So take your time. There's no rush! Remember, the longer you train and gain more experience, the more likely you are to have a successful outing.

What should I eat before a boxing match? ›

Eating 1-1.2g per kg (60-80 g) of starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, rice, bread and fruit at timely intervals of 2.5-3 hours from 24 hours prior to the fight will ensure your glycogen stores are refuelled.

How do I prepare for a boxing match in 2 weeks? ›

It is crucial to train consistently, but in the two weeks (or at least one) before the fight, never practice for more than an hour every day, and make sure to take Sundays off. Continue to use the punching ball, speed bag, and jump rope.

How many months do boxers train for a fight? ›

Boxing it usually takes between 4 to 12 months before the first fight, fighters generally spend about 3-5 hours working out 5 times a week. But you don't need to rush up, the longer you train and get well prepared will give you more chance to have a successful debut.

Does boxing toughen you up mentally? ›

It builds self-confidence as much as physical strength

“In addition to building physical strength, boxing can help to make you feel more powerful mentally and give you the fighting spirit to enable you to deal with any of life's more challenging situations.

What is the 3 day rule after a fight? ›

The 3 day rule after argument is a common practice in relationships where individuals agree to take a 3 day relationship break from each other after a heated disagreement. During this time, both parties cool off, reflect on their feelings/thoughts, and avoid communication with each other.

Is it better to hit first in a fight? ›

Common sense suggests that you must end the street fight as quickly as possible. Striking first is the best method of achieving this combat objective because it permits you to neutralize your adversary swiftly while at the same time precluding his ability to effectively retaliate.

Do boxers run on an empty stomach? ›

Do Boxing Fighters Run On An Empty Stomach? Boxers run early in the morning because running on an empty stomach can help boost the number of calories their body burns during the day. In addition, since most fighters run for weight control and increase their stamina, running in the morning can be highly beneficial.

What can boxers not eat? ›

  • Red meat: Beef, lamb, pork.
  • Processed meats: Hot dogs, sausage, bacon.
  • Animal fats: Lard, bacon fat, the skin of poultry.
  • Whole-fat dairy products: Whole milk, butter, shortening, heavy cream, cheese.
  • Oils: Coconut oil and palm oil.
Oct 22, 2021

Is banana good before boxing? ›

Banana is an excellent superfood for individuals undergoing boxing training. Having a banana before your workout would ensure your body uses the 'banana' as a form of energy. It would also be good to have it after your workout because it can be used t to replenish the burned energy from your body.

How many hours do boxers train a day? ›

Boxers train approximately 5 hours a day when they are getting ready for a fight. There are many ways that you can train for a boxing match, but you have to incorporate different exercises and methods in order to get into the best shape.

How many days a week should I do boxing? ›

Two to three times a week is the sweet spot for a novice to learn the skill of boxing while getting a great workout. After a few months of this, you can progress to four times a week or more depending on your goals.

Do push ups increase punching power? ›

The classic push-up engages all of the vital punching muscles in the upper body. Your arms, shoulders, chest and back will get a great workout completing a few sets of these, and it will help increase your punching power and build your overall upper body strength.

How long did Mike Tyson train a day? ›

It was important that Tyson's intake was high, due to the intense nature of his training. Especially considering he trained 7 days a week, meaning he had little time for recovery. The carbs were a great source of energy throughout the day, allowing him to train essentially 8-10 hours a day.

What does boxing do to your brain? ›

Boxing is a great exercise in general or for someone with a neurological condition or injury. It can be worked into treatment to improve coordination, strength, power, endurance, balance, and overall cognition.

Does boxing let out anger? ›

Non-contact boxing provided a cathartic release of anger and stress, with evidence of improved mood, self-esteem, confidence, concentration, metabolic burden, strength and coordination.

Does boxing get rid of anger? ›

Boxing provides an outlet for anger. Nothing beats a heavy bag for that. In addition to punching away your anger at the heavy bag, boxing teaches you how to control your anger and stay focused. That is a skill that will benefit you inside and outside of the ring.

Why do I start shaking before a fight? ›

Thus, in a risky or threat situation, the body begins to produce adrenaline to make it ready for the moment of action. These reactions activate the autonomic nervous system. Thereafter, both positive and negative emotions are generated, which can trigger the famous adrenaline release in the blood. So shaking is normal.

Why do I feel weak in a fight? ›

Competing as a fighter is stressful, and the cocktail of neurochemicals and hormones this dumps into your body drastically affects how you feel. Especially early in a fight career, nervousness, anxiety, or even all-out fear, will leave you feeling exhausted without even exerting yourself!

How do you focus while boxing? ›

Here are some pointers for keeping yourself present during a boxing match and concentrating on your strategy:
  1. Focus on the movement of your opponent. ...
  2. Keep your breathing steady. ...
  3. Trust your instincts. ...
  4. Listen, don't hear. ...
  5. Corner time. ...
  6. Execute first. ...
  7. Improvise. ...
  8. Keep answering questions.
Sep 6, 2021

What to do after a toxic fight? ›

7 Tips For Repairing Your Relationship After A Fight
  1. Give Each Other Time And Space. After an argument with your partner, it's important to give each other time and space. ...
  2. Feel Your Feelings. ...
  3. Use I Statements. ...
  4. Actively Listen. ...
  5. Take A Break If Needed. ...
  6. Apologize And Reconnect. ...
  7. Make A Plan For The Future.

Who should call first after a fight? ›

Should I call my partner first after an argument? Yes, but try to wait a few hours. You probably both need space to cool off after a heated argument. It doesn't matter who was in the “wrong”—if you want to call them, you should.

What nerves do you hit in a fight? ›

Side of neck – This classic chop spot isn't just for kung fu movies. Give someone a stern strike to the side of the neck and carotid artery and you could hit the vagus nerve. When this nerve is struck, it can cause severe dizziness and possibly knock someone out. 6.

How much should I train before my first fight? ›

Don't overtrain.

Regular training is vital but it is suggested that 2 weeks before the fight you keep training to one hour sessions. Keep up your cardio basics and focus on agility with the jump rope, speedball and punching ball.

Should I drink water before boxing? ›

Our bodies are all different, but as a baseline amount, we recommend you drink two to three glasses of water two to four hours before boxing. It is vital to give the fluids time to be absorbed by your body.

Should you drink water while boxing? ›

For boxers, proper hydration is just as much about their health as it is about performance. A dehydrated body simply cannot perform athletically. All athletes, including boxers, need copious amounts of water when training to compensate for water loss through sweat and breathing.

What are most boxers allergic to? ›

Wheat and corn are two of the biggest causes of food allergies and because boxers as a breed are prone to food allergies, it is especially important for you to be vigilant about what feed your boxer. If your dog doesn't like the food, try a different protein source. Common proteins are beef, chicken, lamb, and salmon.

Is peanut butter bad for boxers? ›

Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it is fed in moderation and does not contain xylitol, so get out that pet-safe peanut butter jar and share the good news.

Why do boxers eat bananas? ›

Fruits that a Boxer Can and Should Eat. Bananas - Boxer dogs can eat bananas and there are many reasons why this is a super healthy addition to meals or a great choice to give as a snack. Bananas are thought to help reduce bladder infection in canines and even help with proper bone formation in growing puppies.

What should I eat 30 minutes before boxing? ›

Great Pre-Workout Combinations

The following food combinations are great choices before boxing: Fruit and nuts with Greek yogurt. Peanut butter with apple or banana slices. Whole grain bread with turkey or chicken.

What should I do the night before a boxing fight? ›

Drink water to clean toxins from your body. Keep off unfamiliar food as you do not know the effects they will have on your body before a fight. Eat more low-fat proteins a day before. Low-fat proteins are easy to digest, and they don't stay in your stomach for a long time.

What is best to drink before boxing? ›

Drink enough to avoid signs of dehydration. Two to three hours before boxing, drink 17 to 20 ounces of water; and 20 to 30 minutes before boxing, drink 8 ounces of water, advises ACE. During boxing, drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes.

How many days rest before boxing match? ›

This taper can be 7-10 days, however a longer / more effective training camp can look to start their taper 14 days from competition. Boxing Science Tapers generally last around 14 days.

How much money can you make from your first boxing match? ›

On average, professional boxers make $4,000 in their first professional fight. However, this number chances from $200 to $10,000, depending on your popularity. Various amateur boxers were more promising than others, especially if they're 17-19 years of age. Their income will be higher, as they're more popular.

What should you not do before a fight? ›

Try not to have any water in your stomach during the fight, this can make you tired or nauseous (especially if you get hit in the stomach). Same goes with eating. Don't eat anything within the 2 hours before the fight.

Is boxing for 30 minutes a day good? ›

A 30-minute boxing session gives you an incredible workout that combines both cardio and strength training. Boxing training which can include shadowboxing, mitt work, and punching on a heavy bag, is one of the most effective ways to reach your fitness goals and get in fantastic shape.

What do boxers eat after a fight? ›

Boxers know that the right post workout meal will help their body recover faster and their muscles rebuild stronger. A huge part of this recovery is providing your muscles with protein so they can repair. Boxers will eat around 25-30 grams of protein within an hour after a fight to kickstart this process.

Is it hard to make money as a boxer? ›

Average professional fighters can make between $22,000 and $51,370 a year, but those earnings can be reduced as they don't include travel, health, training, and management expenses that the boxer himself usually covers.

Is boxing high paying? ›

The highest-paid athletes in the world compete in sports like boxing, basketball, and soccer.

Can you make a living off boxing? ›

While it is common for boxing careers to be short, because boxers usually fight when they're in peak physical condition, you can make good money if you build a reputation, and you can stay in the field as a boxing coach after you retire from the ring.


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