What attributes make a good boxer? Is a question I was asked on my Instagram. As soon as I read it I thought I there is no way I can answer this quickly, I could probably write a book on it! But right now I don’t have the time, so I have decided to condense my thoughts into a blog.
There are the attributes that the everyday fans want, the list of physical traits that the blood thirsty crowd expect to see in a fighter is endless; Knockout power, fast hands, physical strength, a solid chin, awesome footwork, classy defence, aggressive attacks, brilliant timing, superb coordination and everything else that you can think of.
‘The chin is the most important, but often the last thing we find out’
Then there are the dedicated fans, that pay closer attention who also like to see a fighter brimming with confidence, determined, dedicated to their craft, aggressive with the heart of a warrior and a big set of cahoonas.
In my answer to the question, I’m not going to mention any of the above. As being a boxing coach that’s in the gym with fighters every single day of my life I can tell you that not one person possesses all of the above attributes. Not in the beginning anyway.
Don’t search for the X factor that’s going to make you, your child or your fighter a superstar. Instead, focus on the small things that help to make a complete boxer.
Some people have the gift of good genetics and carry certain qualities naturally. But most of the physical aspects can be improved through training. This takes dedication, hard work and persistence.
‘Everyone has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases’
– Jeremy Collier
In my opinion its a fighters attitude that is their most important attribute. From when someone walks into our gym for the first time, right through to boxing competitively, we are constantly assessing their attitude.
Are they dedicated to their craft?
I love it when fighters turn up to train no matter how they are feeling. To me that shows that they want to be here.
Do they have a strong work ethic?
Its good to know that a boxer understands the meaning of working hard to achieve their dreams. Nothing is given to you in this sport.
Are they coachable?
The all important question for me. I need to know if they are willing to be taught. Can they take constructive criticism and put it to good use. For me, being coachable leads to being employable later on in life and its a type of quality that I try to strengthen in all of the young people that train with us.
Do they have good time keeping?
This is a small thing for some people but its massive for me. I want to see people turn up early, ready to work. I hate my time being wasted. If your on time your late in my opinion!
Are they willing to put in the extra work?
Generally, those that come early and stay late end up on top. These special people put in extra training time away from the gym in the relentless pursuit of improvement. They will get much further than those that are happy to do the minimum and just ‘scrape by’.
In summary, we could argue all day which skills or characteristics are the most important, but I’m sure that every boxing fan would agree that the more attributes a fighter can acquire the more complete they will be.
A boxer becomes ‘good’ by being committed to the process.
‘To become someone, you have to make sacrifices. If you don’t, you can’t become what you want to become’