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  • NIKE Boxing Shoes - Footwear for Fighters

    NIKE Boxing Shoes - Footwear for Fighters

    Still riding the wave of the running craze that hit the US in the early seventies, followed by a fitness boom later on in that same decade, the already well-established Nike brand was on the lookout for its next big move. It came in the way of product placement in what would become one of the most iconic movie franchises in film history.

    Before they would ultimately go on to land a deal with Michael “Air” Jordan, Nike would play a role in the 1983 premiere of Rocky 3. Prior to the release of the third installment in the Rocky series, they weren’t really in the boxing shoe business, but once the Italian Stallion was seen training in a pair of Nike boxing shoes, the Nike brand registered a quick knockout over boxing fans.

    Nike shoes

    The distinctive black and gold leather shoes made an eye-catching statement and their film debut when Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed teamed-up to run on the beach in a classic scene from the movie. They then re-appeared later when Rocky came up against the intimidating force, Clubber Lang.  Like movie-magic, Nike and “The Rock” both came out victorious.

    Since that time, Nike has continued to not only have a presence in boxing and combat sports, but has become a leader in the industry. They’ve accomplished this through brilliant marketing, but also some key alliances in the boxing industry.

    Over the past three decades Nike has been seen on many of the sport’s top athletes, and in more recent history, officially associated with one fighter...Manny Pacquiao.  Since 2006, Pacquiao’s mainstream appeal and celebrity status encouraged Nike to celebrate the Filipino fighter with his own MP apparel line, training footwear and everything from jackets to t-shirts bearing the fighter’s name. Their endorsement of one of the top fighters of the past decade demonstrates their commitment to maintaining their championship status.

    Aside from their presence and high-profile PR efforts, Nike has gained the respect of the boxing   community by legitimately doing what they do best. They have applied many of the same principles they adhered to as innovators in the fitness industry to establish themselves as one of, if not THE, pound-for-pound king of boxing footwear. They’ve achieved this by zeroing in on the key characteristics required to build a better boxing shoe, combining the most critical benefits and features in every model they unveil, including:

    Footwear for Fighters 1

    LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN Maximizes speed, agility and maneuverability with no unnecessary weight.

    Footwear for Fighters 3

    BREATHABLE MATERIALS Minimalize moisture absorption through the use of mesh and ample ventilation.

    Footwear for Fighters 2

    FLEXIBLE SUPPORT Provides enhanced technology and pliable soles, designed for optimal control and traction the ring.

    Their attention and understanding of how to design a shoe to meet the demands of each specific sport, is what continues to set Nike apart.

    Whether it’s a big name athlete like Michael Jordan, Manny Pacquiao or a yet-unknown prizefighter plugging-away in his private training camp, Nike continues to be the brand of choice when it comes to boxing footwear. It’s time to Walk the Walk.

    To check out the Nike Shoe Vault click here.

  • What Type of Heavy Bag Should I Buy?

    What Type of Heavy Bag Should I Buy?

    Choosing a Heavy Bag

    What Type of Heavy Bag Should I Buy?

    Heavy bags come in so many different materials, sizes and configurations that it's tough for some boxers or coaches to narrow the field down enough to decide which one is best for them.

    To help in your decision-making process, you have to know two things: First, how much do you weigh and, second, what type of opponent do you want your heavy bag to be?

    Heavy Bag Q and A - weigh your options

    The first question is somewhat self-explanatory. Because you will always be fighting an opponent who is about the same size/weight as you are, you want your heavy bag to simulate that.  This provides a more realistic “opponent” in the gym.  Having said that, it's also beneficial to have a heavy bag significantly BIGGER than you to work on power punching, strength and physical endurance. Working with a bag that outweighs you by a decent amount increases the physical demands and provides you with a target that offers greater resistance. You will have to hit it harder to move it or even put a dent in it.

    Heavy Bag Q and A - mount it for movement

    Since the size of the heavy bag also affects movement, that brings you to the second question you should ask yourself when shopping for a heavy bag…what type of opponent do I want my heavy bag to be? Obviously, some opponents move more, while others stand right in front of you.  A lighter bag will swing more and provide you with an opponent who is more of a boxer and mover, while a heavier bag won’t swing as much.  It will then represent more of an inside fighter or brawler, who doesn’t move backwards or box much.  He will be there to bang with.

    Aside from weight, another thing that affects the movement of your heavy bag is how the bag is hung. Mounted from a taller ceiling with a longer chain and your bag will swing more. This allows you to step around it, close the distance and counter the bag's movements. On the other hand, hanging your heavy bag from a shorter chain will make it swing less. This forces you to work harder to move the bag, it doesn't "give ground." Less movement and more resistance encourages you to throw more punches, the same as a heavier bag.

    Heavy Bag Q and A - selecting material

    A final consideration is the type of material. There are countless options of man-made materials, synthetics and genuine leather. Contrary to popular belief, one isn't necessarily more durable than the other. Leather has traditionally been considered "longer-lasting" than synthetic leather or reinforced vinyl, but technology has come so far in producing higher-grade synthetics that durability has become more debatable.  Quality can be found in a number of materials…so more than what it’s made of, who you’re buying it from may be a better gauge.

    Other than those key elements, what heavy bag is right for you, depends on you. Once you've determined your goals, the decision becomes as easy as 1-2-3.

  • What are the Right Type of Boxing Gloves for Me?

    What are the Right Type of Boxing Gloves for Me?

    The Best Boxing Gloves for You

    What are the right type of boxing gloves for me? That depends on what you are primarily using them for. It’s also largely dependent on personal preference. Some people prefer smaller, more compact gloves, while others are more interested in hand protection and like a more heavily-padded glove. Fit is also a large factor. Just like all people are built differently, everyone’s hands are unique. One glove may fit a person perfectly, but another doesn’t contour to the shape of their hands the same way. The main thing is to choose gloves that fit comfortably, feel right and don’t force your hand into any position that is unnatural. This will achieve goal #1 and, that is, that your hands are fully and properly protected. In the end, though, what really determines what glove is right for you is what are you intending to use the gloves for. There are essentially three types of boxing gloves, aside from those used for competition. This will help you figure out which gloves you really need. Gloves Q and A - bag gloves BAG GLOVES These are primarily used to hit the heavy bag, double end bags and other specialty bags. They typically feature a wrap-around closure for ease of putting on and taking off. In many cases, they’re also constructed with a heavier, dense foam, for protection of your fists when hitting a harder heavy bag. These are not the type of gloves you would use for sparring or hitting other boxers, because they don’t have as much resiliency or “give” as sparring gloves. Gloves Q and A - sparring gloves SPARRING GLOVES These are used for making contact with other fighters, replicating a fight scenario by squaring off against a chosen partner during your workout. The best gloves for sparring have laces or have a design that covers the wrap-around closure so that neither fighter gets cut or abrasions from the hook and loop fastening system. Sparring gloves are usually measured in ounces. Although there’s no hard and fast rule, fighters who weigh between 100-126lbs should be sparring with gloves that weigh 12 or 14 ounces. Fighters who are in the 126-160 lb. range should be in 14 or 16 ounce gloves. Any fighter over 160lbs should choose 16 or 18 ounce gloves. This affords optimal protection for your sparring partner and adequate hand protection. The larger the ounces, the greater the shock absorbency provided. Gloves Q and A - training gloves TRAINING GLOVES These are, sort of, a hybrid glove that can be used for sparring or bag work. They are typically firm enough to use on heavy bags, but also absorb enough shock to wear while sparring. However, it’s not recommended to use the same glove for bag work and sparring. The texture of the heavy bag roughens the punching surface of the glove, and the hardness of the heavy bag also wears down the padding. Overall, the quantity of punches you throw on a heavy bag breaks the glove down and reduces its effectiveness as a sparring glove. Training gloves are a great option if you’re unsure of what you want to use them for, but once you’ve decided to spar in them or hit bags with them, we recommend sticking with that ONE, intended use. Having said that, if you still choose to buy one style of glove and use it for both sparring and bag work, a training glove is your best option. Do ounces affect the size of the glove? In most cases, yes. Gloves that weigh less typically have a smaller hand compartment, especially in terms of sparring and training gloves. Lighter gloves are intended for lighter weight fighters. The greater the ounces, the more padding and protection. Can I use any gloves for bag work? You can do bag work with almost any type of boxing gloves, but if they were not meant to perform as bag gloves, the leather (or outer materials) and foam padding will likely break down faster. The volume of punches you throw on a heavy bag are not nearly as many as you throw in sparring, so the added use will shorten the life of the gloves. Can I use bag gloves to spar with? You can do anything, but you shouldn’t use bag gloves, that are typically heavier, more densely padded and harder, to make contact with other fighters. Having two separate types of gloves to train with may seem more expensive, but actually they will each last twice as long if you use them only for their intended use. What gloves are best if I have hand problems? The more padding, the better, so choose large ounce gloves for everything you do in the gym. Proper hand-wrapping and knuckle guards will also help provide additional protection and absorption of impact. What is the difference between lace up gloves and those that have a wrap-around closure? Safety, convenience and fit. The wrap-around style glove is easy to put on and take off. As long as it’s designed for sparring, with hook and loop covering or “channels” that hide the hook and loop, wrap-around gloves are great for any training situation. Lace-up gloves are simply more traditional and, in some cases, can provide a more secure, custom fit.  Does one glove suit my boxing style better than another? It can. If you’re a natural boxer and your game is dependent on speed, don’t buy boxy bag gloves or ones that carry all of their padding in the knuckle area. You likely focus more on speed and don’t need wide or overly padded gloves to slow you down. Your style doesn’t lend itself to power punching anyways, so the extra foam and padding isn’t really as necessary for you. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy-handed KO artist, look for gloves that are thickly padded across the knuckles and the back of the hand. Plus, pay special attention to lacing-up or putting your gloves on. A more custom, snug fit will help prevent the gloves from slipping, hitting incorrectly and will provide a more secure weapon. Do I have to wear hand wraps? If you’re serious about your profession, yes. As a boxer, your hands are one of your most valuable assets and should be protected at all costs. This is not an area to cut corners to save time. Always wrap your hands and secure all of the bones in your fist properly. Is there anything I can do to prolong the life of my gloves? Regardless of what type of glove you end up choosing in the end, one of the most important aspects to remember is that you properly care for them. In order for your gloves to perform as well and as long as you want them to, you need to spend some time maintaining them. When you’re done using them, wipe off any excess sweat, oils or dirt.These contaminants break down the leather/materials and foam that gloves are made out of. Store them in a cool, dry place. Don’t leave them to mildew and form bacteria in a closed-up, humid gym bag. It even doesn’t hurt to periodically use a mild lubricant or leather cleaner to keep them supple. Leather can dry out and crack and shortens the life of your gloves. Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was once quoted as saying, “I don’t like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don’t like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.” What a perfect philosophy, no matter what sport you’re talking about. That’s approaching it professionally. Also, wash your hand wraps regularly. The cleaner you keep them, the longer they will protect your hands, help absorb sweat and keep your gloves from getting stinky. They’re your first line of defense in making your gloves last longer.

  • All the Rage - Jake "The Raging Bull" LaMotta

    All the Rage - Jake "The Raging Bull" LaMotta

    Who was The Raging Bull?

    The complexities that made Jake LaMotta such an interesting character, so much so that Martin Scorsese made the infamous film about his tumultuous life entitled, "Raging Bull," also made him one of the most dangerous fighters of his era.

    LaMotta learned how to fight at an early age, while his father threw him into street fights for the entertainment of neighbors, passed the hat, took side bets, Jake began formulating his fearless fighting style. His natural transition into the professional ring saw him winning his first 14 fights in a row and it was the epitome of on the job training. Amidst a tough middleweight division and stiff competition, LaMotta developed a difficult style for any fighter to face. His chin was unquestionably unbreakable. His ability to roll with punches as easily as he absorbed them was uncanny. His instinct for infighting and drawing his opponent into a brawl was a strong suite.  And his unrelenting bullying, stalking and willingness to trade earned him a showdown with Sugar Ray Robinson in 1942.

    This confrontation with the great Sugar Ray Robinson would be the first of SIX meetings the two would have over the next nine years. Even though he only won one of their multiple outings, “The Bronx Bull” became Robinson's greatest nemesis. He became Robinson's defining adversary who brought out the best in Robinson every time they squared-off.  Their fights were highly anticipated and are, still today, a perfect example of the Bull versus the Matador ring scenario.

    LaMotta spent over 65 rounds and 169 minutes with possibly the greatest fighter of all time, and was still able to boast that "No son-of-a-bitch ever knocked me off my feet." Although that claim ended in December of 1952, when Danny Nardico dropped “The Bronx Bull” in the seventh round.  LaMotta fell into the ropes and went down for the first time, it was clearly toward the end of LaMotta’s career and well beyond his prime.

    There’s no question that, in an era of tough fighters and the stiffest competition, Jake LaMotta came up the hard way.  In a career spanning two weight divisions and 13 years, he fought the great Sugar Ray, the mafia, all comers and walked away in 1954 with an astounding 106 bouts on his ledger.  “The Raging Bull” lived a life worthy of recognition and would ultimately be immortalized on the big screen by Oscar-winning actor, Robert De Niro.  He is a legendary fighter who has created a Legacy worthy of a champion.

    Get your officially licensed "Bronx Bull" tees here: http://www.titleboxing.com/jake-lamotta-bronx-bull-title-legacy-tee

  • Taking a Punch, Better

    Taking a Punch, Better

    How to Take a Punch

    How to condition yourself for getting hit.

    Being able to get hit and keep coming forward has always been an admitted trait in boxing.  Hearing that you have a granite jaw or a good "beard" is about the best compliment you can pay a fighter.   On the other hand, no one wants to be suspected to having a glass jaw or a “questionable chin.”

    Let's hope you don’t fall into the second category, but if you have any doubts or just want to go the extra mile to be able to "eat leather," there are a handful of exercises you can do to improve the strength of your jaw.  Obviously you want to avoid taking a clean blow, but if it happens, there are steps you can take to make your jaw more shatterproof.

    Your first line of defense is a quality mouthpiece. Don't cut corners or try to save money here. Your sense and cents are both precious, so in this case, don't be afraid to put your money where your mouth is.  Even if a high grade mouthpiece provides a small increase in your ability to absorb a punch, it’s worth the investment. Don’t you think?

    There are also a couple of exercises you can do to strengthen your jaw muscles:

    1. Place your fist under your jaw and apply upward pressure. While doing this, slowly open your mouth. Keep the pressure and the amount of resistance consistent. Perform this movement about ten times.
    2. After that, make a fist and place it against the right side of your jaw. Apply steady pressure and push your jaw against it and out of alignment. Reverse this movement and do the same thing on the left. Doing these two movements each ten times will work well.
    3. Next, place your fist on the point of your chin and jut your jaw out, again applying steady resistance. Do this ten times too.

    Another trick is an old timer’s approach. Fighters from the past have been known to chew on flexible, but tough materials to strengthen their jaw muscles. Jack Dempsey, for instance, constantly chewed on a piece of leather and HE had a rock solid chin. Although it's not as hard or doesn't sound as tough, gum chewing has some equal benefits. It might not be as demanding as gnawing on a piece of leather, but it's a little more socially acceptable and certainly more convenient.

    In the end, frankly, it all comes down to the fact that some guys are blessed with the ability to take a good shot, while others just aren't genetically gifted in  that way. In either case, the more you can do to NOT leave it all up to chance, the better off you'll be when that chin-checker moment happens.

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