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TITLE Boxing Blog

From inside the gym to around the world of combat sports, the TITLE Boxing Blog keeps you up-to-date with the latest MMA and Boxing news, training tips and fighting techniques. This is the kind of info you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

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  • On-the-Job, In-the-Ring Training

    On-the-Job, In-the-Ring Training

    By Fernando Vargas - TITLE Board of Advisors

    Boxing is competitive. It's dog-eat-dog. It is mano y mano, so it's hard not to think about losing or winning, but as an amateur, it's NOT about winning or losing. It's about the experience.

    I tell my fighters all the time to focus on getting the experience and learning the lessons that you only get from getting in the ring.

    It's easy to get caught up in your "record," but lots of successful amateurs don't do well in the pros. It's not the same. So having a good record is something to try for, but it doesn't really mean you're going to be successful unless you get good experience along the way.

    As a coach, you have to be smart with your fighters and not baby them, but don't put them in over their heads either. You have to be real about where they're at and give them time to grow, but know when to "push them out of the nest" too.

    There's no perfect situation, but if you care about your fighters you'll know the right time and the right moves to make.

    At the end of the day you have to be a smart coach, but have fighters who fight. Getting wins feels good, but getting experience and the right kind of it is what makes champions.

    Bio:Fernando bio image_BOA

    Three-time World Champion, “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas fought with an elite class of
    fighters throughout the 90s and into the 2000s. He holds wins over Yori Boy Campos (which also made him the youngest Jr. Middleweight to ever hold that title), Winky Wright, Ike Quartey and others. Vargas faced the best fighters of his era in Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad, in what many consider modern-day classics. To this day he remains a fan-favorite because of his accessibility and take-no-prisoners style in the ring. Vargas currently owns and operates the Feroz Fight Factory in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he trains a stable of rising amateur and professional prospects.

    TITLE Board of Advisors:

    A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.

  • 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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