Tag Archives: boxing

There’s More To Shadow Boxing Than Warming Up For Your Boxing Training Workouts

Shadow boxing is often looked at as just a quick way to warm up before the actual boxing workout session. Shadow boxing no doubt serves to warm the body for the upcoming workout. More importantly though, shadow boxing helps you to groove the skills you have been taught by your boxing coach during your boxing training workouts. It also serves as a tool to hone your own unique fighting style. If you think it’s just throwing punches to break a sweat, you’re going about it the wrong way.

When you’re shadow boxing, It’s best to shadow box in front of a mirror where you can monitor the technique that has been taught to you. I often say…the mirror doesn’t lie. Once you know what to look for, it’s impossible to have bad technique in front of the mirror! Unless of course you just don’t care or aren’t really focusing and putting your all into it. Shadow boxing is when you can better groove the new skills your trainer has been teaching you. Skill retention is a lot better when you shadow box in front of the mirror, grooving good skill.

If you really focus on what you’re doing while shadow boxing, progression is heightened. Your boxing coach won’t have to yell at you so much to stop dropping your hands when you’re working the bags. He will be very pleased to see your fast progression due to your commitment to solid technique when shadow boxing. Boxers can say all they want that they have been putting in the extra work shadow boxing, but good technique will be the telling sign and truth to the coach that the fighter has indeed been putting in the work.

Great fighters will tell you that when they shadow box and move around they envision real situations that may come up in the ring. They think about another fighter being in front of them firing back and moving away. From offensive combos, to defensive tactics, all is covered. Boxers are continually focusing focusing on what an opponent can possibly do while shadow boxing. That is why some boxing coaches call shadow boxing shadow sparring. It actually looks like the boxer is sparring an invisible opponent.

Look at an experienced fighter’s body language and eyes when doing this. It shows they are in a different world. Indeed they are, a world where they see themselves dominating. You wonder why these fighters get so good? Because they see themselves doing it first. The mind can’t tell the difference from something it’s experiencing or imagining. That’s why this secret is so important to apply. Your boxing performance will improve very quickly when you practice shadow boxing in this manner.

Now think about that the next time you shadow box or shadow spar.

About the author: Rob Pilger is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Level II USA Boxing Coach.

FSM Movies: The Fighter Turns 10

FSM revisits this Bostonian boxing saga nearly a decade after its release. This review was originally published on freesportsmagazine.com in December 2010.

Based on the life of boxing favorite “Irish” Mickey Ward, The Fighter fails to deliver the knockout blow which could have made it an instant classic with moviegoers this holiday season. Much like Ward’s professional career, The Fighter flirts with greatness but falls just a hair short when all is said and done.

The timeline and some of the events presented in this tale are inaccurate but nothing that is too atypical for a movie “based on a true story.” Overall, The Fighter gets the point across and the viewer leaves the theater with a good Cliff’s Notes version of the Mickey Ward story.

For a movie about a fast paced sport like boxing, this film trudges along at a snail’s pace. The fighting scenes are spectacularly exhilarating though they are few and far between and when they do pop up, they are short lived. The bulk of this film is a series of surreal interactions between Mickey Ward , his family, and of course the obligatory love interest.

This is definitely not the first boxing movie that is not about boxing. The original Rocky film did an excellent job of telling a love story using the darker side of the sport as a backdrop. The Fighter attempts to employ the same strategy but there is simply too much going on in the movie. Is this film about a dysfunctional family? A drug addict brother? A man who has lost the belief in himself? By trying to go in so many different directions, the movie spreads itself thin and ends up lacking in substance.

In terms of acting, there are a few strong performances, most notably Christian Bale as Dickie Ekland, the half-brother of Mickey Ward who is battling crack addiction. Melissa Leo (of Homicide: Life on the Street fame) also delivers as Ward’s mother who is both loveable and annoying to the viewer, often time simultaneously. And Mark Wahlberg is his typical, average, muscular self.  He does well during the tough guy scenes and fails miserably when trying to invoke that sense of drama which really would have made this flick reach the next level.

Despite all the hype and Golden Globe nominations (it seems like the only prerequisite these days to get nominated is that a film is released in December), The Fighter is a movie you can wait to see in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.

FreeSportsMag gives The Fighter a grade of C+

FSM Editorial: How Much is Enough for Roy Jones Jr.?

This article was originally published in March 2011. With Roy Jones Jr. set to fight Mike Tyson by the end of 2020, the folks at FSM thought it was appropriate to share this editorial once again. Enjoy!

Here we go again – again. The announcement was made this month that fading boxing star Roy Jones Jr. will lace up the gloves for yet another questionable fight.

Exactly how much is enough punishment for a man to take in the ring? Unfortunately this is not a question a boxing fan can answer. Well I guess they could answer but it wouldn’t make much difference to Roy Jones Jr. who will travel to Russia on April 22 to face hot prospect Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs).

Lebedev is bigger, stronger, and 11 years younger. His only loss was a controversial decision in an opponent’s backyard. There should be no doubt that Roy Jones Jr. is being used as a stepping stone.  Check any Las Vegas sports book if you think the Russian guy is the underdog this time (yes that was a Rocky IV reference).

Roy Jones Jr. has lost two fights in a row. One of them was an embarrassing first round knockout to an Aussie journeyman and the other was a beating at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. Even before these two bouts, concerned citizens in the boxing community were pleading for Jones to stop fighting. His diminished skills were apparent in the fight against B-Hop. When fighting a younger contender like Lebedev, there will be potential for serious harm. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jones get knocked out in the style of the Glenn “Road Warrior” Johnson fight.

So back to my original question – how much is enough punishment for Jones Jr. to take? When a question like this is asked it usually means the person has already taken enough.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you or I think. And as much as I hate to see former greats blocking punches with their face, I’m not going to be the one to tell Roy Jones Jr. that he needs to quit boxing. I would loathe it if someone told me I had to stop doing something I love, especially if I was the best in the world at doing it at one point in my life.