On Coaching Boxing

First of all, take the time to learn the art of the sweet science yourself, by either participating in it while learning, or asking an “educated” coach to teach you to coach. There are different opinions on whether or not you should have at least sparred in order to understand what a fighter is feeling inside the ring, and I will leave that subject for another day. I will say that if you are the type of coach who always wants “more” from your fighter without giving him or her the tools to deliver what you are asking for, or you question your fighter’s heart or willingness, you definitely should try lacing up some gloves yourself, and sparring at least, with an educated boxer. I promise you will see the ring in a different way.

Second, be able to communicate with your boxer and clearly articulate what it is you are teaching or attempting to teach. The same goes for working a fighter’s corner. Knowing the common “catch phrases” and regurgitating what you hear on televised fights, or what you read on a boxing website somewhere is not enough! “Throw the jab”, “Through your right” or ” Put pressure on him”, is almost like saying nothing, and as a matter of fact, if you are the type of coach who says these things without further articulating the why’s and how’s your fighter can make that happen, you are probably better off saying nothing!

Third, make sure you are teaching these kids how to BOX and not how to perform fancy mitt routines, play with pool noodles and ropes, look cool punching a heavy bag, beat up on kids with less athleticism and skills, kill each other in sparring, or how to “take a punch” or “be tough”. The whole point is to hit and not get hit, and if I have to tell you what you have to teach these kids for them to be able to do that, then you are unfit to be a boxing coach and need to take the time to learn what it is you are trying to teach your students. Yes, boxing is a tough sport and one will get hit no matter how good he is, but letting a kid take punches cause you want to establish whether or not he or she can handle the “hurt” side of the business, is cruel and irresponsible as well as ridiculous. No one “likes” getting hit and I would venture to say that the best that ever laced up gloves, hated taking punches! This would likely explain why they honed their ring generalship, movement, and defensive skills to the degree that they did, which in turn made them some of the best in the business. How many potential champions might we have lost because a kid goes into a gym to learn how to box or “defend himself”, and a poor coach throws the kid in a ring, letting him get beat up, to see if he or she would be “tough enough” to box, and the kid never steps foot in a boxing gym again? Again I would suggest that if this is a “technique” you use to grade your boxers, get into the ring yourself and see if you are still “tough enough” to box at your age and fitness level.

In closing let’s remember that boxing can be a beautiful thing when it’s done correctly and for the right reasons, whether in practicing, competing or coaching. Let’s put our egos aside and do things for the kids.


As much as I love to see a person that’s been blessed with God given physical attributes learn how to use those gifts and do so effectively, we must remember to teach young boxers the basics and have them stick to the basics until further notice. Of course every person/fighter is different and one style or way won’t work for everyone, but there are some things that should be taught to every new boxer that walks through the door. Things that will help these boxers learn to and be able to protect themselves, when they don’t have the edge in strength, speed, quickness, power, or intelligence.

Too many coaches get gifted boxers and fall into the trap of letting those boxers compete and really do nothing more than use a couple of punches they may have learned, and whatever gifts that boxer already had when they walked into the gym for the first time. We all like to win and get a kick out of it when someone we have trained is able to use what we have taught and be successful, but we have to remember that at the end of the day the success belongs to the boxer and not the coaches. So let’s take our time and let our boxers learn what they need to before putting them into the ring.

Houston, Texas, Boxing Hotbed

Houston, Texas has always been a hotbed for boxing and the tradition continues in 2018. Dominance in the ring as well as technical expertise was a calling card for the twin Charlo brothers in 2017. We also had Marlen Esparza dominating in the pro ranks, along with amateur rival Virginia Fuchs, dominating the National and International women’s amateur scene.

All in all boxing is alive and well in Houston, Texas and with our current crop of killers, it looks like 2018 is going to be a fun year in “Clutch City”!