Lesson learned this week: Trust that the UWCB people know what they’re doing.
We find writing about the sport of boxing relatively easy. Whether you think we are any good at it, is a different matter entirely. However, there is always something to discuss or rant about when it comes to the noble art. As we have exactly zero experience of actually boxing, what gives us the right to talk about it? Should we be allowed to criticise those who put in the hard yards?
Well, if we can praise the boxers we watch, which we do when we think it’s worthy, then surely we should be allowed to criticise as well, when warranted. We are far from the generic abusive trolls that vivaciously target families and deliver personal threats.
“If you’ve never done it you can’t comment” is, quite frankly, a ridiculous argument. I don’t have to be any good at football to know if someone has missed a sitter. I don’t have to have won an Oscar to know I didn’t enjoy a particular film. Yet, if we are to truly understand what it takes to get in the ring then we should probably try to put ourselves into a boxer’s shoes (or boots).
One of us has accepted the challenge. Over the next 8 weeks I will be training, and attempting to diet, towards an Ultra White Collar Boxing bout on Saturday 16th September 2017 at the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington. Yes, it will give something of an insight into the world of boxing but it’s also on behalf of Cancer Research UK. So, yes, I will be putting out regular reminders on how to donate and buy tickets.
I will also compile a weekly series of ‘Fight Journals’ to detail the training and sacrifices I make throughout the journey. I will also try to include a lesson I learn from each week (Not promising these will be anything profound). This is the first episode in the series, before the hard work begins. I will probably do another after the first official training session and then each week thereafter. Hopefully my last entry will be describing my glorious victory at the end of it all!
Before I carried away with myself, it is important to remember that every journey starts with a step. I took my first step by registering online several months ago. After registering, each ‘boxer’ is asked to join a Facebook group, where the majority of correspondence is shared. There have been many, many questions and opinions shared so far, even before the training starts.
The organisers, UWCB, have been fantastic so far, answering queries and responding regularly and informatively. Understandably, lots of members have wanted to know specific details about training and the event. With over 200 members, they’ve had their hands full and have often replied that we will “find out at the registration meeting”.
That meeting was last Friday and did indeed cover a lot of the questions asked to date. Despite the large numbers expected, not everyone was able to attend. This had led to some confusion regarding dates. With such a large number of potential boxers, there was a contingency plan of splitting the show between Saturday and Sunday. Understandably, not everyone was too happy about a potential change in dates. I’ve sold tickets based on a Saturday night out after the event; boxing on a Sunday would alter that slightly.
The organisers put everyone’s mind at ease however, and covered pretty much any potential issues people may have had. There were still several questions however, some of which had already been answered. Hopefully, for the coaches’ sake, this can be put down to nerves and tension. And there appeared to be plenty of that! A few small groups made the effort to make small talk but most, myself included, were happy to stand back and take it all in. Especially when we were told our opponent was probably in the room, even if we didn’t know them yet.
There were also plenty of words to put our minds at ease. The fact we have to fill in a form to acknowledge we will be getting punched got a chuckle. There are also a few returning boxers, so the whole event must be somewhat enjoyable. Although this does add to the number of people I expect will be better than me!
There will be 2 official training classes per week, with the organisers recommending to do as much extra as you can. As a total novice, I will be putting myself totally at the trainers’ mercy, hopefully getting fit, improving my non-existent technique and raising money for a great cause, along the way.
I can honestly say that I have never experienced such a mixture of nerves and excitement and I’m still 8 weeks away. I might feel differently after a few punches to head but it’ll all be worth it. I hope!
To buy tickets: