Do ordinary people underestimate the power of a professional boxer?
Answered by: Dominic Showlaing,Boxed as an amateur for 7 years
Yes they have no idea how hard they hit. I boxed as an amateur and one of the pro boxers used to come into the gym to help us train. He was a welter weight so 147lb on fight night. So i’m guessing he walked around at 155–160lb and he was about 5′9″ tall.
In the gym this night was a huge guy and he was working on the bag. He was throwing decent combos so that he looked like he knew how to box and the room shook when he landed on the bag. When I say huge that’s not doing him justice. He was about 6′4″ and I estimate about 240lb of solid muscle, he had not an ounce of fat on him. The guy was built like Anthony Joshua but more on the athletic side i.e. not overly muscle bound. Well the pro boxer didn’t usually spar with any of us, presumably because it would be too much of a mismatch. But this night was different. He got into the ring with the AJ look a like and pretty much everyone who noticed stopped what they were doing to watch.
I knew the pro boxer was a decent pro but I figured he was so much smaller that he could get hurt in there because all the big guy had to do was land one shot due to the massive size disparity. What happened was awe-inspiring. It started off tentatively with the big man trying to establish his jab but the pro made it impossible because he started slipping left and right. The punches just slipped past him and at this point the pro was not throwing much of note. Then occasionally he’d fire a shovel hook to the body off a slip. He made it looks effortless. He then shelled up and let the big man fire at his guard. The big man threw a combination of straights but they just got absorbed on the pro’s gloves. I thought he’d be able to blast past the gloves but that turned out to be not the case in reality. The pro just absorbed those shots on his gloves with no issue.
The big man started to look frustrated, his output started to die down but not before the pro started to turn the screw. For each straight punch that he slipped he landed a thudding body shot, he was really ramping up the power. Sickening body shots were landing unopposed with regularity. And his footwork was amazing. For each long shot that came his way if he wasn’t slipping them he was just taking a half step back to completely take the sting off the punch. And when he countered he was able to step into range at will and throw to the body with impunity.
It was now two minutes into the round and the big man had landed not a single decent shot. Just hitting gloves when he was allowed to but most of his shots were hitting thin air. By now most of us watching realised he was hopelessly out-classed and that his size meant absolutely nothing due to the vast chasm of skill on display. The pro had now started to sit down on his body shots which was pretty much all he was throwing and the big man looked to be crumpling. What was noticeable was that the big man looked really reluctant to throw anything because he knew he was going to get punished with a counter. He looked ready to go down from some of those body shots, in fact I was really impressed with his toughness. But I felt the pro was actually taking it easy on him and he could have ramped up his effort level by another 20%.
However, soon enough the round ended. The big guy looked on the verge of collapsing, he was breathing hard and looked like he’d gone quite a few more rounds than he had. The pro came forward and asked him if he wanted to go for any more rounds and the big man respectfully declined. He’d had enough. We all in the gym by that time were watching the action unfold totally transfixed by what we had seen. It really was David vs. Goliath and David had pretty much destroyed Goliath but had even shown mercy on him.
I learned a lesson that day which is skill can more than make up for an 80 lb. weight disadvantage and a 7″ height disadvantage not to mention a similar reach disadvantage. Boxing really is the sweet science. And I’m not even sure the pro was going 100%. He looked like he had a couple of gears left in him if I’m honest. So I was left in no doubt that the pro could have stopped the bigger man if he really wanted to. So yes ordinary people do underestimate the power of a professional boxer — I know I did.