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Training And Preparing For Your First Boxing Match

When you are a beginner in boxing, the first match you take part in will forever be planted in your memory. It’s the most surreal experience. You can never be quite ready for what you’ll experience on the ring. You may prepare yourself mentally, train as hard as you can, and even visualise every move you’ll make, but it still won’t be enough.

Facing a real live opponent is the next level. Nothing compares to feeling their punches connecting with your body and your punches connecting with theirs. You’re bound to be nervous and apprehensive as you take that first step. Every boxer will tell you that stepping onto that ring-shaped their boxing career for the first time. It will be the tipping point where you decide to pursue boxing or run the other way.

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 said,” 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 in better condition will win the fight.

Your trainer or coach may be confident in you and proudly announce you are ready for your first fight. Be sure to pick an opponent at the same level as you are. This will help ease you into the ring life than facing a more experienced boxer on your first match.

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.


Boxing 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 chances of a successful debut.


Approximately 60 minutes before your boxing session or fight is the sweet spot for drinking your energy drink. This allows enough time for the caffeine and taurine to metabolise and give you the desired effects of increased alertness, focus, and improved physical performance.

Fruit and nuts with Greek yogurt. Peanut butter with apple or banana slices. Whole grain bread with turkey or chicken. Cottage cheese with fruit.


Judges score each round individually, on a 10-point scale. Most rounds are scored 10-9, with the boxer who did better scoring 10 and ‘winning’ the round, with the other fighter scoring 9. If a boxer is knocked down or hurt enough to prompt a standing count from the referee, that fighter loses a point.


Some fighters have certain rituals that they habitually do before entering the cage/ring or stepping on the mats. For example, some fighters will listen to music, and some will sleep to help them relax. Also, keeping a ritual gives them a sense of security that they may not have come into a fight, with so many unknown factors.


How to Train and Prepare for your First Boxing Match?

You are ready to prepare for your first boxing match. The coach has given you the green light, and you are booked in for your first bout.

This must be a decision that you and your trainer are happy with, and remember, if you’re new to boxing, it usually takes between 4 to 12 months before people sign up for their first bout. So take your time and be patient.

You have to prepare to face your first opponent. If you are not adequately prepared, then be ready to receive the beating of your life. Take the necessary steps to face your opponent confidently because you are sure of your technique and preparedness. The longer and harder you train, the more chance you’ll have of a successful debut.

Once you have committed to your first fight, though, you have a certain timeframe to be at your peak both mentally and physically to win in the ring. So, from last-minute preparations to the weeks running up, read on and make some notes.

Get the Right Trainer/Coach

How you get started in boxing matters. Getting the right trainer/coach is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. It might make or break your career. A great coach will get you started on the right footing. Get one with experience with beginners and won’t be too much of a drill sergeant, making you lose psych easily.

Educate yourself more about boxing and watch closely how top fighters you admire compete in the ring. There are many autobiographies available from the best boxers in the world. They are a wealth of knowledge. Remember you have to prepare yourself physically and mentally too. Listen to your coach and follow their directions, and they’ll get you ready for your first match.

Your First And Most Common Enemy Will Be Overtraining

The key is to get into the ring with a full energy tank. You need to be fresh and available. It is important to train regularly but in the two weeks preceding the fight (or at least one), never exceed one hour of boxing training per day, and make sure to rest on Sundays.

Keep the up use of your jump rope, your speed bag and your punching ball. Don’t let your cardio intensity drop in the weeks running up to a fight, as it is important to stay agile.

Continue your boxing classes and other combat sports to ensure you are at the top of your game.

It is often said that victory is synonymous with intelligence. If you know anything about your future opponent, take advantage of it. Exploit it. For example, depending on his height, practice hitting higher or lower on your punching bag.

Similarly, especially if this is not your first match, have a look to see if your challenger has not previously been filmed on YouTube or Facebook. You can analyse his techniques and secrets, preparing sequences that will unseat him and disrupt his rhythm. Watching an opponent play is a fundamental aspect of winning.

Equip Yourself

Buy all the necessary equipment and update your boxing kit before landing in the ring. If you are associated with a boxing club, you can get a detailed list of all the required equipment for boxing, and there will be no chance of missing the essentials. Your boxing club can also assist you by offering trial sessions with a sparring partner of your calibre. 

This will prepare you for your first fight and boost your confidence and morale. However, remember to be careful about causing any injuries to your fellow boxers and be mindful of their safety. They are not your actual opponents but are only to facilitate your training.

Train Smart

Find out about your opponent. Are there any videos of them fighting? How tall are they? Are they known for anything? Any advantage you find, exploit it.

Don’t rely on someone else to do the research. Instead, learn about your opponent first hand. Make sure you are training to win and have a game plan for defence and attack. Watching your competition closely and learning is a fundamental aspect of winning.

Make sure to spread your training evenly too. It’s just as important to spend time on your balance, ringcraft and overall fitness as it is to work on your attack and defence.

Commit to Serious Training

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When you decide to venture into professional boxing, be ready to push your body to the limits. Every aspect of your life will change, including how you train. Training to be a professional is very different from fitness training. You may have the natural talent that got you into the door, but that can only take you so far. You need serious and rigorous training to make it a top boxer in the industry.

Good training focuses not only on your strength but also on your stamina. You must be able to last all the rounds without getting easily distracted or tired. This means you must be very energetic and strong. Your coach will create a training schedule that will push you to your limit and beyond. You must keep to it to be ready for your first time on the ring.

Don’t Get Nervous

Allowing nervousness to get the better of you saps your strength to control your nerves before a fight and focus on keeping yourself calm. Nervousness is often a result of a lack of training or self-confidence and sometimes a fear of crowds. Try to identify the root cause of your nervousness and work proactively on overcoming it. 

Adopting a pre-fight routine can help centre you on positive energies. Instead of getting afraid to accept the challenge open-heartedly, assure yourself that winning is not an absolute necessity and prepare yourself mentally to accept a possible defeat as well. These tips will help you get rid of pre-fight nervousness and keep you motivated.

Change your Diet

To be a boxer, you must eat like one. First, study how your favourite boxers eat and when they eat too. After that, you have to change your diet completely. Long are the days of dropping by at your favourite fast-food restaurant every evening. As a boxer, you must maintain a healthy and balanced diet every day, no exception.

A well-balanced diet consists of healthy carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruits. To top this off, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Eating well and drinking water will improve your energy levels. You cannot expect to last in training and on the ring when you lack the proper energy.

Stay very far away from sweet drinks like colas and alcohol too. This is the time to treat your body like a temple. Watch everything that you eat and drink closely. Your coach can help you create a boxer’s diet plan to help guide you as a beginner.

Perfect your Technique

To be ready for a match, you must perfect your technique. Every boxer has a technique that is unique to them. This gives you a fighting chance against your opponent. Your coach gets you started in boxing and will help you learn which technique works best for you. Once you know, practice until you can do it in your sleep.

Your technique consists of a good attack and defence plan and good ring habits. Learn what your strengths are in the ring? Do you have a mean right hook? Is your footwork the best thing about you? Maximise your strengths as you work to improve on your weaknesses too.

Know who you are and be confident you can perfect on the ring. Be honest too about your weaknesses. You have them. No one is perfect. Ask your coach to help you explore your strengths and weaknesses. Learn from your mistakes and try your level best to correct them. This will get you ready for your first time on the ring.

Who is your Opponent?

You’ll get a chance to learn more about your opponent. They won’t just show up on the day of the fight. If there is video footage of their past fights, watch and learn their technique. Learn all you can talk about them before facing them on the ring. This helps even to calm your nerves because they cease being a stranger.

Tips For Your First Boxing Match

There are a few things on top of being prepared that you can do to be ready for your first fight. These tips help you face your opponent confidently:

Get some Rest

The day before the match is not the day to put all your training into one day. Train a little, then get some much-needed rest. Be confident in all the training you’ve put in so far. Go to bed early too. Sleep will help you wake up energetic and relaxed too.

Be Positive

Your mind has to be ready for the match too. Maintain a positive attitude and believe you’ve done all you could to get ready. Allowing negative thoughts to take over will keep you nervous and anxious. You may end up distracted by the ring. Train your mind to remain positive and believe you’ll emerge victoriously.

Your coach will rain positive comments your way, which you must soak in. Repeat them to yourself until you believe. Create a system for positive affirmations to work with from the first day you start as a boxer. This will help you shape your mind.

Purchase the Right Equipment

One way to be prepared for the match is by getting the right competition equipment and protective gear. Professional equipment and protective gear are different from what you may use in training for fitness. There are standards set by governing bodies too of the type you must use in a match.

Equipping yourself boosts your confidence because you don’t have to worry about not having the right gear for your match. Invest in the best protective gear to ensure your first match is not your last due to injuries.

Remain Calm

Nervousness can creep in slowly without you knowing and have you tied up in knots. It’s perfectly alright to be a little nervous about your first match, but those nerves shouldn’t be the centre of your focus. Take a moment and analyse what the root cause of your nervousness is. If you’re nervous about your opponent, find out as much as you can about them. This helps to stop feeling like they’re a stranger.

What do you normally do to get rid of nerves? It might be you enjoy a good laugh with friends and family, or go for a run, or watch a favourite show. Instead, do the positive things you like to help you get rid of the butterflies in your stomach and remain calm.

Engage in a Warm-up Routine

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Part of a good technique is an equally good warm-up routine. It’s not ideal to face your opponent without getting warmed up first. A good warm-up routine awakens your muscles and mind too. Stretch and engage in a shadow boxing routine that will prepare you for the fight ahead.

When you warm up the right way, your reflexes will be alert, and you can avoid getting injured easily on the ring. A warm-up is a chance to turn on your body to fight mode. A good warm-up should not be long and exhausting, just enough to get you fired up.

Have a Support System

Having your loved ones and friends on the sidelines cheering you on is one way to remain positive. It can be scary to face your first opponent. But, having them there helps you feel supported, which can make all the difference. Just seeing them there cheering you is a huge boost to your attitude and will make you give it you’re all.

Drink Plenty of Water

Do not step on the ring dehydrated. That will drain all the energy you have. Instead, start a drinking plan before the match to ensure your body is well hydrated on the day of the fight. Proper hydration is key to remaining energetic on the ring. Keep a hydration bottle with your coach to sip after every round.

Avoid Heavy Meals

A heavy meal just before the match is a no-no! Instead, take a light meal that will boost your energy before the match but won’t fill your stomach. Your last meal before the match should be between 2-3 hours, then a light snack before you face your opponent. Avoid fighting when you’re hungry.

Mental Preparedness

Part of being mentally prepared is doing something routine that keeps you calm. It might be you enjoy meditation or prayer if you are religious. Taking a moment for this will help calm your mind and get you ready for the fight. A prayer centres your whole being, and so does meditation.

Avoid Being Exhausted

It might be very tempting to train more and more on the day before the match. As much as you’d like to get in one last training session, avoid facing your opponent while exhausted. You need your energy to attack and defend yourself properly. The best thing you can do for yourself the day before the fight is not exhausting yourself. Reduce the amount of training you have to do the day before.

You can engage in simple training routines that will help sharpen your technique but avoid exhaustive moves that drain your energy levels. Then, when you’re exhausted, you won’t be able to remain alert, which can get you easily knocked out!

Get a Physical

You may have seen your doctor throughout your training, but getting one more physical done is very important. The doctor will test your blood pressure, among other things, to see if you’re truly ready for your first match. They can also alert you when something is wrong. Better to know before stepping on the ring what needs to be rectified.

Go for a Walk or a Jog

Being outdoors the morning before the fight may be what you need to clear your head. Take a walk in nature or a simple non-exhaustive jog. This is also a great way to warm up that won’t drain your energy levels. Make it a habit to take a walk or a jog the morning of the big fight, and this routine could make all the difference in the ring. A walk helps your mind remain calm and clear. Then, on the ring, you’re able to face your opponent without being easily distracted by your thoughts.

Good Luck training and preparing for your first boxing match.

You should be ready to take on this challenge. Boxing fights normally take months to prepare for, so you should have plenty of time to get into shape, learn about your opponent and master your technique.

Just remember, simply participating in sport makes you a winner, whatever the outcome of your first fight. So the only thing left to say is good luck and win your first boxing match.


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