Boxing is the competitive sport that champions sparring excellence and satisfies the mysterious craving to place maximal punching force on the other guy’s chin. But there are some pitfalls that must be avoided. I have developed the following essential tips over time by garnering information from numerous sources, such as tabloids found in the supermarket checkout line, late-night sports talk-radio programs, and old movies.
Applying these tips will steel your confidence as you travel the rocky road of boxing, and will help you achieve two important goals in your quest for success:
1. Minimize embarrassment.
2. Leave the ring with dignity.
The big heavy bag will help you develop hard-hitting combination blows to your opponent’s torso. This bag is to be hit firmly and, if possible, without grimacing. The speed bag, on the other hand, requires finesse and critical timing. After intense practice, you should be able to make the speed bag take on its hypnotically rhythmic sound. Caution is advised, however, as it is recently rumored that Knuckles deSchmitt became so caught up in the experience that his head began bouncing like the speed bag through sympathetic vibration. Just a word to the wise.
Going ten rounds or more in the ring can be grueling, if not downright unpleasant and dull. How often have you seen a boxing match where both boxers were leaning on each other in a waltzing manner after only the second round? Blows delivered in that state of exhaustion carry the force of a ladybug landing on one’s head, only less. Regular running exercises will prevent this faux pas.
When you first start running, you may do a lot of wheezing and holding your aching sides. But over time that will diminish. Build your endurance by running difficult routes, such as up and down numerous marble steps in front of city hall or maybe the federal courthouse, along harbor docks with the city skyline in the distance, back and forth on lonely stretches of two-lane highways at four o’clock in the morning, over the river and through the woods … well, you get the idea.
Remember that hitting the other person harder and more frequently will enable you to prevail. Half-hearted hitting simply will not do, and politeness is definitely out (“Okay, now it’s your turn to hit me!”). You must exhibit controlled rage, going after your opponent as though you hate the very depths of his soul, but being principled in doing so. Windmilling, wind-ups, and comin’-’round-the-mountain punches are ineffective because your opponent, if he is any good, can get in five or six well-connected star-studded punches before your punch comes anywhere close. Don’t rely on them. Besides, they look a little silly and go contrary to goal number one.
There is only so much you can do to prepare physically for the dreaded stealth punch some adroit opponent might slip past you. Otherwise, you may want to implement some modern technological advances to minimize the impact. For example, you may wish to wear an MP3 player recently adapted for the ring, which, upon sensing a horizontal position, automatically plays stirring marches to help restore sentient behavior.
There will come a time when you should leave boxing. You will most likely know when that time comes. You may even feel it. This is when you want to make your last exit from the ring a shining moment in your boxing career.
But as you consider your exit, guard against overconfidence, because at a critical moment fate can deal a cruel blow. This may be attested by a recent rumor about Ballpein Slapenhitzle, who became terribly confused while attempting to exit the ring for his last time. He didn’t know it was his last time. In trying to make a running leap out of the ring, he stumbled over his own feet and managed to spin himself around the ropes into a tight little wad, making himself look as though he had three arms and four legs.
Follow these tips and you will surely achieve the boxing renown you deserve. And when the time comes to hang up your gloves, you will know deep down inside that you did your part for the sport, and, in some abstract way, possibly became an inspiration to others, or, perhaps, helped someone with a personal matter regarding aluminum siding. Maybe people will cheer, or maybe they’ll shed a tear. Yes, some may laugh. But no matter, for they will all have to say in their hearts, “There goes a dignified boxer…with a face mangled beyond all recognition.”