Top 18 Most Common Myths About Boxing

When people decide to do sports and choose boxing, of course, some fears may appear. This is normal and quite natural – we are afraid of everything new, we think up scary things for ourselves. Today we are going to dispel some myths about boxing, which often occur to beginners or those who are not sure if they should do this sport or not.

Getting Hit In The Head Is Painful

No, it doesn’t hurt. Or rather, it is not a sharp pain. A blow to the head is deafening, shocking, and very hard on the mental side, but it is, let’s be honest, bearable. The real pain from the head hits comes a little bit later, it’s dull and nagging. That’s why gloves and a helmet can soften the punch.

Much sharper are the precise punches to the body. A timely blow to the liver or stomach forces a person to bend down and not think about anything else. Continuing to fight after a missed head punch is often a matter of willpower (exclude knocking out punch).

After a missed punch to the body, a fighter may simply be physically impossible to continue fighting. The pain cuts through and blinds the mind. And the inability to breathe normally makes continuing the fight pointless. A person who has forgotten how to breathe doesn’t even need any more punches.

That’s why boxers train their abs so intensively.

Teeth Are Knocked Out In Boxing

It is very rare for this to happen at a high-level competition. Some coaches can’t remember a single case like that in their entire career. We can look at professional boxers, where almost no one has broken teeth. First of all, the glove punch extends over a large area.

It’s not the same as a bare-knuckle punch to the face and hitting right with the knuckle. Second, the helmet (let’s say we wear a helmet in all sparrings). All helmets protect the chin on the sides and spread the force of the punch over their area as well. The third is the mouth guard.

A mouth guard in boxing is used only for the upper jaw and the lower jaw is movable and partially absorbs the punches. A mouth guard protects the teeth very well. Unlike the fact that teeth are rarely broken out, small chipping sometimes happens, but, again, these are the rarest of injuries.

Breaking the nose is much easier, and the nose is known to heal itself, unlike the teeth.

Only Hooligans Do Boxing

If we explain in very crude terms, those who box can be divided into “nerds” and “hooligans. “Hooligans” – they are aggressive, they are bullies, they need to feel something edgy. They’re risk-takers. They like sparring, they like competition, and if there was no boxing, they would have to spar in the street with some people.

“Nerds” are not aggressive, they have no desire to hurt others, but they are often targeted by “bullies” in life. And “nerds” need to know how to stand up for themselves. Not having the same level of natural confidence as the bullies, the “nerd” must have more courage to come to the boxing gym.

Every sparring is a big stress for them, not a lot of pleasure, as for others. The motivation of a “nerd” is quite different from that of a “hooligan”. He doesn’t want a challenge – he wants to strengthen his body, to build a strong spirit one way or another in life.

The Boxers Look Intimidating

You can’t define a good boxer by his outside looks. A big guy with huge hands and a beard looks very impressive, but he may easily fall after the first missed punch to the liver. The tough look, the aggressive behavior is often just a mask, which falls off with the first missed punch.

And now a big guy with arms three times as big as yours is asking you not to hit him so hard or to wear 16 oz gloves. In the same way, the little guys who don’t look at all offensively show such technique in the ring that makes you feel a little shame about yourself.

You thought he was much weaker, but he executes powerful punches, presses, throws himself at you, and almost wants to kill you in the ring (not really). He looks like a regular guy even though he is much more dangerous than everyone else. Not all and not always, but they do exist.

The Big Guys Can Knock An Opponent Out With One Punch

A big opponent does not always hit hard. This is especially true for beginners who have not yet mastered their technique. Let’s say, a 130 lbs boxer hits much harder and stronger than the average 220 lbs big man who’s been training for a month.

It would seem that weight is the main thing, but no, it’s punching technique and speed that matter. For a good punch, you need perfect coordination of your whole body. It’s because the impulse of the punch starts from the foot, goes up through the body, and flows out through the hand.

This is very difficult work, which takes years to master. You can’t get through it by using only brute strength.

In Boxing, You’ll Get Hit In The Head And Then You’ll Be Knocked Out

To be able to throw a knockout punch, you have to spend several years. Then go out to the competition and hit a person who is the same boxing level as you. No, it’s not easy. Most fights in boxing don’t end in knockouts. They end by decision, and you just have to watch the world championship or the Olympics to find it out.

It’s even rarer to see a knockout in training and regular sparring. Knockout is quite a rare and not a regular thing in boxing. To reach the level when you have to fight opponents who can knock you out with one punch, you should train very hard in the gym for many years. I don’t think most people will reach that level.

Boxing Equals A Healthy Lifestyle

Arturo Gatti liked to smoke. Mike Tyson could drink alcohol or even do drugs. Sergey Kovalev once said that he drank a couple of beers a day. Boxing is a very stressful sport, and many athletes find relaxation in bad habits. Another thing is that most boxers are categorically against smoking because it hurts their endurance.

Also, a large number of injuries and very hard training (especially in pro boxing) do not affect the health of athletes in the best way.

Boxers Don’t Have Much Intelligence

This is probably the most common opinion expressed about boxers. After all, these athletes are hit in the head. Many brain concussions reduce their brain ability – not, according to the opinion, as normal people do. Indeed, we often see fighters who can’t even say two words together.

Who are bad at math and can’t realize their potential in anything else but boxing. Mostly because athletes from the age of nine were just boxing. When everyone else was learning, reading literature, boxers honed their skills in gyms and rings. Their main goal was to improve their punching skills in boxing.

But a similar situation is observed in all other sports. If people devote themselves 100% to their chosen sport, there is no time or motivation for anything else. Whether this is right or not, everyone decides for himself. What is the situation, if we look from the outside?

Some boxers are growing not only in the boxing ring but also in other areas. Some athletes have several higher educations and doctorates. After all, boxing is a sport that requires a lightning-fast reaction while making decisions. This is the basis of the definition of punches in boxing.

It was found out that boxing is the 2nd sport after chess where you have to use your brain to the max. After all, you have to analyze the situation and make a decision in a few moments.

Boxers Have Poorly Trained Legs

Yes, indeed, kicking is illegal in boxing. You can only hit with your hands. But professional athletes know that the legs play an even more important role. Good punching technique in boxing is not possible without good footwork. Many experts agree that the feet are more important than the hands.

After all, the most difficult thing is to get to the right distance for the attack. After the attack to go back to the distance, which would be uncomfortable for the opponent. The main difficulty, which only some professional boxing schools teach, is to shorten or break the distance in a few moments.

Those who are worse at moving on their feet are the ones who lose round after round. Even if they’re capable of throwing strong, agile, and accurate punches. Some of the masters of moving around the ring are Muhammad Ali, Manny Pacquiao, and Mike Tyson.

I’m Going To Get Hit At Every Training

That’s not true. In boxing, nobody is dragged into the ring on the first day. The coach pays a lot of attention to people who are new to the gym. Training consists of warming up, various physical exercises, punching, and defense technique. But you have to be prepared for the fact that sparring in the ring can be tough.

It’s a contact sport and there is no getting away from the punches.

Boxing Is A Good Replacement For Fitness

Let’s look at the Olympics for example. Boxers mostly don’t look like super athletes, and in the worse case, they are thin or even have overweight. Even the pros have poorly developed body muscles. Their legs are thin, and their arms are often of the usual size, maybe just a bit embossed.

Muscular heavyweights by nature have a strong muscular corset and only get it to the right body shape in the gym. Look at the heavyweight Muhammad Ali – they say that he did not work out at all with weights to develop his body muscles. You have to understand that boxing is first of all aerobic work at a breakneck tempo.

This is also called interval training. Usually, boxing exercises are to hit a tire with a sledgehammer, landmine barbell throws, or explosive light bench pressing. All this is done for a large number of reps explosively to develop local muscular endurance and to work on sharp punches.

Many people know that interval aerobic training is best for burning fat, but it doesn’t add muscle mass. No, even on such high-intensity work with weights will build up a couple of pounds of muscles, but not more. In the classic boxing workout, there are simply no exercises that load the muscles in the range of at least 8-12 reps.

“I’m An Intelligent Person – It’s Not For Me”

There are a lot of people in the world who used to box. Many of them have been boxing all their lives as a hobby or a secondary lifestyle activity. An example of famous people who have boxed is the American writer, Ernest Hemingway. Jean-Paul Belmondo in addition to his actor’s career was a Paris boxing champion.

Mickey Rourke has been boxing since he was 12 years old and still is. Micky himself says that boxing now plays a major role in his life. Also, such famous people as Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Gerard Depardieu, Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplin, Liam Neeson, Frank Sinatra, Oscar Wilde, and many others were boxing to some extent.

Boxing Will Teach Me How To Fight

Boxing is not a fight, it’s a sport. It has strict rules: you can’t punch an opponent to the back, you can’t kick a fighter, you can’t hit a person who has fallen. But it’s quite possible that boxing can help you to become more confident. Also to learn how to get out of conflict situations without using physical violence.

Boxing makes a person calm and self-confident, and that’s enough of an argument for many bad guys. After all, they expect to see fear and panic, but they see a calm person who is ready to fight back if needed.

Boxing Is Not Very Efficient, There’s No Kicking

Each sport has its pros and cons. But to be able to compare them, you should do boxing on your own and then try some other martial art. Many boxers believe that a small number of punches in boxing allows practicing them most effectively. Also, without spending time on a large number of techniques.

This gives a better result than being able to kick twenty times and throw thirty punches. But in the end not being able to perform any of them in full power and with good technique. Besides, boxing is a foundation that allows you to quickly master many techniques of other sports and reach good results there.

Boxing Is Not For Women

Women can reach great levels in boxing if they want to. It is a great sport for everyone, and you can start doing it for yourself at almost any age. Boxing makes a woman’s shape fit by developing all the muscles equally.

You will not look like a bodybuilder, but quite the opposite – you’ll be slim and fit, with a nicely shaped relief. Boxing classes for women will also allow you to defend yourself if needed.

Taking Your Child To Boxing Is Dangerous

Not 100% true. Any sport is disciplining, but boxing is even more disciplining. Your child, no matter if it’s a boy or a girl, will learn to control himself and his emotions. Also, to develop responsibility for his actions. Children who take part in boxing are more self-confident.

They learn much easier, they succeed much more, as they can correctly balance their energy. Many of them begin to show leadership skills. Also, they become healthier, they develop physically. They are not affected by bad habits, and they can hardly be influenced by “bad company”.

In my opinion, by sending your child to boxing classes, you will make the right choice.

I’m Too Old For Boxing

If you are not going to take part in serious competitions, you can start to train at any age, if your body health allows it. Sports for yourself is a discipline, a healthy lifestyle, physical activity. It will be only useful for your body.

Many people who come to the gym at thirty, or forty, and even at fifty years old note that they feel themselves better. Many people have back pain, some chronic problems, especially with the musculoskeletal system.

So, if you do not have a direct health warning from your doctor, you can try yourself in this sports art.

MMA Is More Dangerous Than Boxing

Boxing is a more dangerous sport than mixed martial arts. At first looks like MMA should be much more dangerous and damaging than boxing. It has kicking, punching, small gloves, and minimal limitations. It’s much more complicated than that.

In MMA, most of the fight is wrestling, which is objectively less traumatic than well-placed counter punches. Of course despite the wrestlers’ specific injuries. Most of the fight is spent on low kicks. They are extremely painful but have no serious consequences.

We don’t count the single fights where the fighter’s shin breaks against the opponent’s knee etc. There’s not much time left for hard punches to the head in MMA. And the most dangerous injuries to a fighter’s health are usually related to head punches. Boxing, with its limitations, leaves only the body and the head for punching.

Most of the attacks are still thrown to the head. Boxers, who are free in their routine training from leg kicks and wrestling, spend much more time mastering their hard punches. We all know that no one punches harder than boxers do. An MMA fighter spends 33% of his time on wrestling, punches, and leg kicks.

Boxer spends 100% only on his punches (we don’t count a defense training). A boxer’s punch is much more dangerous. So, this kind of argument from an amateur athlete should not be taken seriously at all 100 %. Thankfully, this issue has already been researched by sports doctors.

The University of Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic studied data from 1,181 MMA fighters and 550 boxers. It was found that almost 60% of MMA fighters and about 50% of boxers were injured during fights. But boxers suffered serious eye injuries and severe knockouts twice as often.

In addition, boxers were much more often not allowed to spar for a long time after serious competitions. Also, the death rate in boxing is much higher than in MMA.

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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