“I fight for perfection” - Mike Tyson

Boxing’s image has suffered for many years as it was thought to be the sport of the working and lower classes. However, it draws in men and women from all levels of society.

After all, wouldn’t you like to improve your agility, self-confidence, and tone your body?

The increasing popularity of boxing and wrestling has been the driving force behind a 10.2% rise in sports clubs across the UK.

Have you been thinking about becoming a professional boxer?

In this article, we’ll be looking at how you'll need to be in excellent physical condition, participate in amateur condition, climb the ladder to become a successful professional boxer.

Be in Excellent Physical Condition

There are four main types of boxing that we're talking about: traditional boxing, savate, Thai boxing (also known as Muay Thai) and kick-boxing. Each of these combat sports requires that competitors be in peak physical condition, train extensively, and commit a large part of their life to their discipline.

What training do professional boxers need to do?
No matter what type of boxing you're doing, you need to train a lot. (Source: xusenru)

A boxer’s body is often athletic, regardless of their weight class: flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight. Just look for pictures of boxers on Google and you’ll see.

Boxing is a high-intensity sport whether you’re doing it professionally or at an amateur level. Before you become a world champion or Olympic gold medalist, you’ll need to join a boxing club.

You’ll end up working on almost every muscle group while you’re there. Typically, a boxing session will include:

  • Intense warm-ups including running, jumping, squats, push-ups, burpees, etc.
  • Technical training (jabs, hooks, crosses, uppercuts, and kicks for those disciplines that include them)
  • Sparring with the necessary protection
  • Strength training

At the end of a training session, your equipment will be dripping with sweat. A lot of sessions take place as a group so that you can work with different sparring partners, develop your style of boxing, enjoy a cardio work out, and improve the speed and strength of your punches. You’ll also learn how to push the limits of your endurance, keep your guard up, dodge your opponents’ attacks, and develop strategies.

To be a good boxer, you’ll need a blend of agility, speed, precision, strategy, endurance, and strength. A boxer should also learn how to take punches and get used to them. With your coach’s permission and only once you’re ready, you’ll be able to get in the ring and compete in an actual boxing match or competition.

Find out more about the pros and cons of professional boxing.

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Amateur Competitions

If you want to be a professional boxer, you need to be strong and driven. The journey is long and full of dangers.

What are the steps to going pro in boxing?
You'll need to fight at an amateur level before you'll be ready to go pro. (Source: skeeze)

Once you’re ready, you’ll need to apply to be a boxer with the British Boxing Board of Control. You’ll need an amateur record before you can, though. Several different competitions take place throughout the year. These competitions cover most levels, ages, and weight classes so almost every amateur boxer will have an opportunity to compete.

How to Become a Professional Boxer

To become a professional boxer, you’ll need to apply for a professional Boxer’s licence. You can get this from the British Boxing Board of Control and you’ll need to complete an application form and provide passport photos, your passport or driving licence, boxer/manager contracts, your amateur record card, and a licence fee paid to them. At this point, the BBBofC will forward all this onto the Area Secretary.

There’ll be an interview and you’ll need to be recommended by your Area Council and then you’ll need to provide a medical and optician report, MRI/MRA brain scan report, HIV blood test result, Hepatitis C blood test result, Hepatitis B surface antigen blood test result, and evidence of hepatitis B vaccinations to the Head Office.

Then, and only then, will you be able to participate in professional boxing contests? Of course, you need to be fit, determined, and dedicated to becoming a professional boxer.

Starting Boxing from a Young Age

Just like with becoming a musician, it’s a good idea to start boxing when you’re young.

How old do you need to be to start boxing?
Like with anything else, the younger you start, the better you'll be. However, very young children won't be able to do everything involved in boxing. (Source: diowcnx)

Take the example of French boxer Dylan Charrat. He started boxing at the age of 12. In 2011, he was called up to the French junior team. By the time he was 20, he’d gone pro and had 11 victories, two by knockout. He became the 5th best light middleweight in France.

One day he hopes to fight the grand champion in his category, Floyd Mayweather. In July 2019, he won his first EBU belt and the European light-middleweight champion against Howard Cospolite. He’s unbeaten in 18 fights.

Climbing the Ladder in an International Federation

Professional boxers need to be licensed by a federation. There are many of them: EUBC, EBU, WBA, IBF, WBC, WBO, IWBF, IBA, WPBF, GBU, AIBA, APB, etc.

How do you climb the ladder in boxing?
In general, boxers will climb the ladder towards the title. (Source: tacofleur)

Once a boxer has won a few local, regional, and national competitions, they’ll be able to affiliate with one of the big federations. This is where prestigious pro boxers earn the big bucks. However, at any moment, they can lose their title as they're regularly obliged to put it on the line.

By organising big fights, this is how professional boxers earn their money, often with the help of a promoter. Generally, the idea is to climb the rankings, win belts, and maximise their earnings. Of course, the promoter also takes a piece of the pie. It’s also in their interest for their boxer to do well and become famous... or infamous.

The better a boxer does, such as going undefeated for a long time, the more they’ll get in sponsorship, publicity, pay per view money, and spectators. With an estimated fortune of $560m (£437m), Floyd Mayweather is the highest-paid athlete in the world and boxing champions can make an absolute fortune in a very short boxing career.

Need we say more?

This is an amount that makes footballers like Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar look poor!

However, for most boxers, boxing is more about passion than money.

Whether you'd like to do boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, or any other combat sport, have a look on Superprof for the best tutors pound for pound. You can find tutors all around the country and all over the world and once you've found the right one, you can start your path towards becoming a professional boxer.

Before you pick your private tutor, there are several things that you'll need to carefully think about. Firstly, no two tutors are alike and you need to pick the one that'll help you to get the most out of your training and set on you on the path to glory. Secondly, there are three main types of tutorial available from the tutors on Superprof, face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and you need to pick the one that's right for you.

Face-to-face tutorials are between you and your tutor or coach. They'll work alongside you, tailor the sessions to you and your goals, and give you their undivided attention. They'll often also work outside of your sessions on planning and preparing your training. Of course, all this extra work will come at a cost and while face-to-face tutorials are often the most cost-effective type of private tutorial, they also tend to be the most costly per hour.

Online tutorials tend to be cheaper than face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn't have to travel to each of their students or clients and can schedule more tutorials per week. However, these types of tutorials tend to be much better for academic subjects than sports and while you could very easily get started with boxing through online tutorials, you may reach a stage where you'll need to have the tutor or coach there in the room with you.

Finally, group tutorials have the coach teaching several clients at once. Unlike the other two types of tutoring, you won't have your coach's undivided attention. However, you will be dividing the cost of the tutor between yourself and the other attendees. Similarly, the tutor won't be able to tailor all their sessions to you. Much like online tutorials, group tutorials may be good for those just getting started with boxing, but once you have some serious goals and dreams of being a titleholder, you may require a bespoke and tailored service!

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Jess