When the boxing interval timer starts, both female boxers, as well as male boxers, have to give it their best in the ring in order to win the match and entertain the spectators. Check out this post to learn more about what it takes for women to succeed in a male-dominated sport.
Although in many regards you have to follow the same path as a man does when you are training, there are some differences that you must be aware of even before you start.
Sparring with men
Many women realize this only after they enter the gym to begin their first training sessions. They look around and feel almost intimidated because they are surrounded mostly by men. However, this shouldn’t discourage you if this happens in your case as well. It can be difficult at first to find someone willing to work, train, and spar with you but after a while, things will change.
The lack of other women training in that particular gym will result in you having to train and spar with other men. Usually, this translates into two types of feedback you receive from your male partners. On one hand, they can hesitate to hit you and will most likely shadow box around your face, which means they will punch the air and always take you easy.
On the other hand, your partner may have a silly and absurd complex. He may feel that just because he is a man he should never be defeated by a girl and will throw extremely powerful punches toward you just to prevent that from ever happening. However, these things will last only as long as you allow them.
If you show seriousness when training and sparring, you will be treated as you should and will quickly earn the respect of all the men who train around you and together with you. As most of your male sparring partners will probably be stronger, you have the opportunity to better evolve as a boxer in a shorter amount of time.
Men are generally more muscular and may be more experienced than you at first. You must use this to your advantage and gain experience faster by training alongside them.
After a period of training and sparring, you may feel confident enough to get inside the ring for an official match. This may involve losing some weight before the fight. This process is different when it comes to women.
Although for some women weight cutting implies the usual practices like getting on a diet, increasing the cardio routines and eliminating water in saunas, for other women losing weight proves to be a more challenging task. Women have more body fat than men and retain water much more easily.
Moreover, if your upcoming match happens to be in that period of the month, then it becomes much more difficult to lose water weight.
Equipping for the fight
The boxing equipment worn by female fighters is almost identical with the equipment worn by men. The biggest difference is that women don’t have to necessarily wear protective groin padding, unlike men, who due to the obvious biological differences have to wear this groin protection during matches.
That being said, female fighters wear some protective padding under their sports bra. The chest is a legal scoring area and any punch in that region is counted as a body shot. Therefore the opponent is allowed to punch you in the breasts. Unlike men, you may want to better protect your chest during matches.
As we are on the subject of apparel in the ring it is worth mentioning that as most women have long hair, it is a great idea to put your hair in cornrows. This type of hair braiding is amongst the few that manages to keep it out of your eyes and also protect it from being damaged during the fight.
If you braid your hair close to your scalp, it will not get snagged or ripped and you will feel much more comfortable. Moreover, it doesn’t cover your peripheral vision, a necessity during any match.
Attention on and off the ring
Spectators love to see women fighting. After a while, you will notice getting more attention on social media and in the boxing community, especially if you prove your talent. Boxing offers you great opportunities and a lot of exposure. People may even recognize you on the street. Often times young women, not necessarily boxers, will look up to you and expect you to mentor them.
It’s entirely up to you how you’ll manage the fame and the responsibilities that come with it. You will want to promote yourself through this sport that you love and climb the social ladder while keeping the public opinions positive. Keep in mind that female boxers are observed more closely than male fighters as they are fewer and according to the fans, they entertain the spectators more.
Despite all the attention you will undoubtedly receive, you will see that, unless you find somebody that shares your passion for boxing, it will be hard for you to have a romantic life as well. That special someone must understand that you will spend a lot of time training and should expect bruises to appear on your face after a match; you should as well.
However, dating is not impossible. Perhaps you can meet another fighter and you will train together, which would be a great bonding experience. Not many couples get to date and work at the same time.
To succeed as a female boxer you don’t have to do anything different or special. As long as you have that burning passion for the sport and as long as you are conscious of a few small differences you may encounter down this path mostly walked by men, there is nothing that can stand between you and fame.
As long as you dedicate yourself and show seriousness, gender, age, religion or nationality do not make any difference once you put the boxing gloves on.