Boxing champions like Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and many others had a few things in common that took them from humble beginnings to being magnificent. The traits and qualities of a great boxer involve more than just learning the craft and having excellent technical skills. What else got these champions to the top of their game?
The traits and qualities of a great boxer include a passion for the sport, being able to adapt to anything that comes their way, avoiding distractions on the way up, and fighting all odds to reach their goals. They also have a strong character and self-discipline to get them through the rough patches.
These are 14 traits and qualities of great boxers:
- Strong Character
- Incredible Speed
- Focus and Patience
- Combination of Accuracy and Power
- Great Defensive Skills
- Endurance and Stamina
- Fluid Footwork
If you aspire to become a great boxer, keep reading to see if you have what it takes to reach your goals.
1. Exceptional Boxers Have a Strong Character.
When you hear the word “character,” what do you think of? The dictionary defines “character” in three ways:
- The features that form an individual.
- Feature or trait; characteristic.
- Having a moral or ethical quality.
All three of those definitions fit a great boxer. They bring all the elements of who they are into the ring with a distinctive style. A fighter characteristic would be that they are light on their feet and minds, and they have strong work ethics in and out of the ring.
2. A Great Boxer Has Incredible Speed.
Whether it is hand, feet, or upper-body speed; quickness is an essential skill to become a great boxer. If you are quicker than your opponent, you can expose his weaknesses while at the same time, dodging painful blows in defensive moves. Fighters who do not have the necessary speed in the ring can get seriously injured, so it is crucial to be fast.
3. Boxers Fight to Reach Their Goals (Grit).
All great boxers fought and clawed their way to the top because they had specific goals in front of them. A great fighter sets goals and then works hard to achieve them, even if they seem too far away.
4. Confidence Creates Champions.
When you’re sparring in the ring, and you know you’re going to get hurt, do you flinch and run away? Or do you meet your opponent eye to eye and continue? Champion boxers have confidence even when the odds are against them. It’s confidence in their abilities and skills that keep them going to the ring time after time.
5. Great Boxers Have Passion.
If a boxer doesn’t love what she does, then she is not going to become great. Only those boxers who have a passion for the sport and get excited to step in the ring are the ones who become champions. Champions have enthusiasm and love for the game.
6. Great Boxers Can Adapt to Anything.
Being able to adapt to changes in routines, rules, and other aspects of life means that a champion finds a way to win. Champion boxers dodge obstacles and keep going and don’t give up regardless of the difficult situations they find themselves in.
7. Focus and Patience Are Crucial.
To become a top boxer requires many hours of training and perfecting the skills needed to be a champion. Distractions only serve to get in the way to success, and can prove fatal to a boxer’s career if he lets them get in the way. Making sacrifices now to enjoy a better life later is what allows them to achieve greatness.
8. A Combination of Accuracy and Power.
Not only do great boxers need to be fast in the ring, but they also need to able to throw powerful and accurate punches. A strong combination of these two can make the differences between an outstanding boxer and an average one.
9. Defensive Skills To Stay Healthy.
You won’t be in top physical or mental shape if you get hit too many times in the ring. A great boxer has excellent defensive skills to stay at the top of their game for many years. A great defensive strategy involves blocking or moving to avoid getting hit. It also means anticipating your opponent’s next moves so you can counter them with your attacks. A great example of this is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
10. Excellent Physical Condition (Endurance and Stamina).
There is a reason boxers workout and train so hard between fights – and that is to stay in top physical condition, so they have the stamina and endurance to go the full 36 minutes in the ring. These are two crucial factors of the battle, and if a boxer is not ready for the complete 12 rounds, the odds might be against him. Therefore, excellent physical condition is a requirement for great boxers.
11. Self-Discipline Keeps A Boxer On Top of Her Game.
Self-discipline means more than just training hard in between boxing events. It also means watching what you drink or eat, how much sleep you get per night, and staying out of trouble on the streets. Each one of these issues might contribute to being less than great.
12. A Boxer Must Be Able to Think and Act Quickly.
Thinking quickly on your feet is essential to being a great boxer. When in the ring, a boxer must be able to predict the next move and come up with a counter move, in order to deliver effective, accurate, and powerful punches. Mastering these skills is what sets the best boxers apart from average ones.
13. Boxers Need Fluid Footwork.
Moving correctly with a “fluid footwork” helps you avoid an opponent’s punches while giving you leverage to deliver your blows to the opponent. A great boxer knows how to use footwork to gain an advantage and win matches.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”Muhammad Ali
Ali said this at the age of 22 when he was about to take on the world. The quote summarized his fluid footwork style in the ring.
14. Great Boxers Have Tremendous Courage.
Even great boxers get hit hard in the ring. They know this before even stepping in the ring, yet they get in there and “face the music” regardless of knowing they’re going to get hurt. Courage is the one trait great boxers must have to keep going with precision and discipline, even after getting hurt. Champion boxers reach down deep to find the courage they need.
Many good boxers have come and gone, but only a few can be called great. Champion boxers share many of the same traits and skills but are still individuals with unique personalities.
In my opinion, discipline and grit are the most significant traits that separate the great boxers from everyone else. It’s what keeps boxers going when the going gets tough and frustrating. They also have a hunger for the sport. Many great boxers come from humble beginnings, so boxing gives them the chance to fight for a better life.
If you want to become a great boxer, you need to reach down deep and find the one thing that will keep you going no matter what.