Most of the time in boxing sparring, you’re not working with your full power, because if you were, you’d have a pretty short shelf life. Save that shit for the fight, you know?
But because nearly everyone spars with people waaay outside their weight category, you’re likely to get hit really hard now and then. The kind of hit that makes your head buzz and your ears ring. I’m not talking about a knockout punch, but close.
When nearly all my sparring partners were heavyweights, I used to get my bell rung about once a month. Lately it’s a fairly rare occurrence, mostly because I’m in with people closer to my weight, and also because I’m less slow on defense than I used to be. If you’re new, you’re just gonna get tagged on a regular basis; there’s no getting around it. (Don’t worry, you don’t stay new forever.)
Recently I was working with one of my favorite sparring partners; we’re within 5 pounds of each other and very comfortable in the ring together. Our strength is well-matched, and we know how to draw out each other’s best work. We tear shit up, man, and it is awesome. When you’re in there with someone you know you’re safe to work your ass of with, sometimes your power builds and builds and you feel good letting loose some badass shots.
We were there.
Unfortunately, I was also consistently dropping my right. Which meant she was amping up her left hook in order to take smart advantage of my lapse. She scored several hits that I should never have allowed, then BANG. I got rocked, pure and simple. Not a knockout shot, but a clean, clear, hard power shot to the chin that put a sweet stop to my game for a moment.
“I need a second,” I told her immediately, and we both dropped gloves and I walked it off. And you can bet your sweet ass that my coach didn’t even have to