Bout 2: The Importance of Being Warmed Up
After my first bout I took few days off from training and took a good ice bath from being sore the next morning. When my body was ready I went back to training just as before looking for the next opportunity to get back in the ring. A few weeks went by and my trainer let me know that there was an event in February that we could get ready for; I said of course lets do it. We stepped up in training working on things to improve from my first bout and bringing in professionals and different fighters for sparring sessions.
The day of the fight in February comes and we all meet at the gym an hour before the event as normal to go over last minute fight plans and carpool to the arena. On the way to the arena I find out that my opponent is in the Marines which didn’t mean much to me other than I was in the Navy…. The team and I get to the arena and it’s a much nicer venue than the first. We head to weigh-ins and I meet my opponent and he didn’t look as nervous as my first opponent did; he was 6’2 muscular and weighed in at 200 pounds. I weighed in at 196. After weigh-ins were over I overheard my opponents trainer tell him “don’t trade with this guy”.
We get to our tables in a ballroom that is decorated like a professional boxing event with a buffet and full bar for spectators; an upscale atmosphere.
A couple of matches before mine my trainers and I head to the locker rooms to warm up. After warming up I’m ready to fight… We enter the ballroom to head to the ring and the promoters stopped and made a long introduction with tributes to the Navy and Marines selling the bout as Navy vs Marines. Turns out my opponent was actually fighting for and being trained by Marines; I was in the Navy but I was fighting for a local gym…. While I stood there waiting to get to the ring I feel my body getting cold and I told my trainers but we couldn’t turn back.
We make our walk to the ring and my body isn’t ready. The bell rings for the first round and I feel like a grandpa on a screened in porch with kids taunting him, I see my opponent and want to get him but can’t get past the barrier of my body shutting down. My opponent bounced around the ring circling to my left seemingly trying to avoid my right hand, listening to his trainers advice and not trading punches with me. He bounced in and out hitting with combinations and getting way, classic stick and move. As the fight went on I heard a woman’s’s voice from the crowd yell “Come on Justin!”. The second round went a little better as my body begin to warm up and I land a few punches. The third round I felt I was more in control of landing more punches and not allowing my opponent to move around me as much. As the fight ended and the announcement of the winner was being made I wasn’t sure how it would go, I knew I lost the first round and felt I won the third round but the second could have gone either way. I lost the decision.
It didn’t bother me that I lost it bothered me that I wasn’t at my best in the ring. I wasn’t aware that the promoters had promoted our match as Navy vs Marines and would do a long pre fight introduction. Had I been at my best in the ring it would have been a completely different fight.
Warming up before getting in the ring is a must.
Also, find out more about my opponent and promoters before the match…