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.

  • Being a Marketable Fighter

    Being a Marketable Fighter

    By Douglas Ward

    How to Become a Boxing Superstar

    In today's boxing world, marketing yourself as a fighter has become almost as important as talent. Well, maybe not quite...but close. Unfortunately this media-driven world, full of reality television and sensational news stories, has created a demand for "personalities." The bigger, the better. The more outrageous a person is, the more abnormal their behavior, the more attention and press they get. Good, bad or even a little of both translates into valuable face time these days.

    Being highly skilled and a great athlete may not be enough to get you recognized or get you paid any more. Think about it. How many fighters have you seen who create conversation, who have great records, who are surrounded by tons of hype and who get lots of exposure, but are just "okay" once the bell rings?

    Part of that marketability, that "buzz," is created by personality. So how do you become that fighter who can sell tickets, get the attention of promoters and get paid? Let's break it down in three simple steps...

    Be exciting. Make the fight happen. That doesn't mean being reckless to press the action. It does mean setting an action-packed pace that’s entertaining and keeps the crowd engaged. People don’t have a lot of time to spare and won’t invest their time on anything less than mesmerizing. You have to be worth watching.

    Be extreme. Be extremely angry. Be extremely gregarious and outgoing. Be extremely passionate. Be extremely talented. Whatever your strength is, focus on it, share it and showcase it for the boxing world to see. No one likes plain, boring or predictable. Take what you do best, magnify it and showcase it. Package it, present it and sell it. It's not being fake, it's being marketable.

    Be interesting. Everyone has a story and you have to be willing to tell yours. It might be sad, painful, weird, inspiring, interesting or somewhat boring, but there has to be a "human interest" element to it to get noticed. What in your life story sets you apart and will make people want you to win? Whether you were raised in an abusive home and are fighting for recognition or you have lived a blessed life and give back by donating your free time to help feed the homeless. No matter which side of the street you grew up on, people love underdogs as much as they love people who care. Find your story and tell it.

    In order to be that marketable commodity that gets people talking about you and wanting to pay to see you fight, you have to take your boxing personae to the next level. You don't have to be a character, you just have to know who you are. And you have to be willing to share that, be true to it, don't veer from it and work your butt off to be in a position to shine the spotlight on it.

    Those are three BE's of how you become a marketable fighter.

    Having spelled it out, now let me add that - None of it has any value unless you are hitting the gym, practicing your craft and getting better all day, every day.  You don't want to be all sizzle and no meat, but if you're "well done" then you deserve a spot on the boxing menu.

    Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing.

  • Billy Miske's Last Fight

    Billy Miske's Last Fight

    Inspiring Story of Boxing Legend Billy Miske

    In the early 1920s, Billy Miske, from Minnesota, had established himself as a top contender in the heavyweight division. He'd won 17 fights in a row in just 18 months. But by this time in his life and career he'd already been diagnosed with a terminal kidney ailment known as Bright's Disease. His doctors had originally given him five years to live. He only had two years left.

    With his health drastically declining, "The St. Paul Thunderbolt" wanted to leave his wife and three children with a Christmas to remember. Although he was too sick to even train, Miske entered the ring for the final time on November 7th, 1923 and knocked out Bill Brennan in the fourth round. He finished his career with a record of 45-3-3.

    He accomplished his goal with the purse from the Brennan fight and gave his family one more memorable Christmas.

    He passed away shortly after Christmas on January 1, 1924 at the age of 29.

  • Fight Hard - Live Easy

    Fight Hard - Live Easy

    By Douglas Ward

    How Boxing Changed My Life

    After you've been in the sport a while and have coached kids and adults alike, you hear a wide variety of the benefits each person has taken away from their time in the ring.

    Boxing teaches discipline, determination and the value of having a real work ethic. You gain a real sense of pride, self-confidence and self-respect. Competing, even sparring, forces you to face your fears and have a level of honesty with yourself that you won't find in most other arenas.

    Above all, boxing asks you to grow so much as an individual in all of these areas, at such a high level, that life’s struggles pale in comparison. The real personal growth that occurs in the gym and in the ring, in pursuit of success, enables you to endure more and do more than the average person. The extreme pressure you face in the boxing ring elevates your ability to tackle even the most difficult of life's problems with a different view of what "hard" is.

    The character of Jack in the movie Fight Club put it so perfectly when he said, "After fighting, everything else in your life got the volume turned down. You could deal with anything." Fight Club isn't boxing and it was just a movie, but that quote nailed the reality of being in the ring perfectly.

    Lace 'em up and you just might experience the ability to deal with anything more fearlessly.

    Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director for TITLE Boxing

  • The Rise of "Little Red"

    The Rise of "Little Red"

    By Douglas Ward

    Inspiring Story of Boxing Legend Danny Lopez

    The auburn red hair. The long sideburns. The mustache. The steely-eyed stare. All tucked up under an Indian headdress and punctuated with a right hand that put countless victims to sleep.

    11.6.16 danny little red lopez sub 1Danny "Little Red" Lopez looked the part of a prizefighter and embodied the stereotype of his combined Mexican, Irish and Ute Indian heritage. He had the will and skill to come forward taking punishment and dish it out in spades, like Mexican fighters are known to do. He was quick to brawl, like most Irishmen have the reputation for. With a trace of American Indian blood pumping in his veins, he had no fear of going into battle and fighting for what was rightfully his, whether it was a championship belt or the ground he was standing on.

    While some fighters find a way to survive in the trenches, Danny "Little Red" Lopez thrived there. Because of his fan-friendly, come-right to you-at-you style, he became a popular fixture at the famed Olympic Auditorium and throughout California, where he won his first 19 fights. He also won his first 21 pro bouts by knockout. It’s one of the longest knockout streaks in boxing history.

    Danny experienced setback losses to Bobby Chacon, Shig Fukuyama and Octavio Gomez. But his impressive knockouts of Ruben Olivares, Sean O'Grady and a rematch win over Octavio Gomez led to his grueling, 15-round decision victory over David Kotey for the WBC Featherweight title. These fights demonstrated his fearless approach to facing the best in a division deep with talent. His back-to-back losses to the late, great Salvador Sanchez provided some of the most brutal rounds in sweet science history. Both were toe-to-toe battles that put both fighters on display, laid their hearts open and showed boxing fans what real warriors are made of.

    "Little Red" ended his career with a record of 42-6 (39 KOs) and a Legacy as one of the most electrifying, crowd-pleasing fighters of all-time.

    Shop the Danny "Little Red" Lopez tees here.

  • Charles "Sonny" Liston - The Myth. The Mystery. The Man.

    Charles "Sonny" Liston - The Myth. The Mystery. The Man.

    By Douglas Ward

    Inspiring Story of Boxing Legend Sonny Liston

    Born into a poor sharecropping family with little or no record of his actual birthdate, Sonny was always haunted by questions about his age. His death, ruled a suicide, was just as shrouded in secrecy, controversy and speculation. His boxing career was plagued by rumored ties with the mob and two highly questionable losses to Muhammad Ali. In between all of that chaos and confusion, Charles “Sonny” Liston was one of the most feared, powerful and dominant fighters to ever lace them up.

    Sonny led a troubled, tumultuous life, but that’s part of what has made him an enigmatic figure in boxing. He was, in fact, larger than life. Physically, he was an imposing heavyweight. First, he possessed an 84" reach, second only to heavyweight giant Primo Carnera's. He had a massive 18" neck and huge fists that measured 15" around. All of that sat on top of two tree-trunk, thick, muscled legs that used to generate enormous punching power. His physicality was matched only by his equally menacing demeanor. Abused as a child (the 24th of 25), hounded by the law, demonized by critics and forced to pound his way into boxing's elite, Sonny understandably carried some hate with him. If not in his heart, certainly his head. This extra incentive to prove himself made Liston that much more dangerous and imposing. It was with that commanding frame and ferocity that Sonny tore through the division's best for nine years, dismantling Cleveland Williams, Nino Valdez and Zora Folley on his way to the claim the heavyweight title.

    Every step of the way and with every dominating performance, those in power tried to keep him out of the heavyweight spotlight and away from title contention. With most of his prime years behind him, and only after he had absolutely demolished every other leading contender, then and only then, did Floyd Patterson and Cus D'Amato run out of options and ultimately agree to give Liston a shot at Patterson’s title. Patterson was subsequently stopped in the first round of their championship bout and then again in the very first round of their rematch.

    Next is where it really gets ugly, but if you’re talking about Liston’s ability, you can forget about the Ali fights. There was more going on in those outings than anyone may ever get to the bottom of. They reek of religious influences, scrupulous associations and dark undertones. Cast those aside and you are left with a legacy of one of the best fighters to ever live.

    Consider this: as an up-and-coming fighter, Liston faced Johnny Summerlin, who had an 18-1 record in only his fourth professional fight. He squared-off against only three guys, in his entire career, who had losing records. In all of his 54 fights, he faced legitimate, formidable opposition. After the Ali fights Liston fought 16 more times, winning all but one of those outings. History and casual fans have all but forgotten those fights.

    At nearly every turn of his life and boxing career, Sonny was shunned, shut out and shot down and yet he still managed to reach the pinnacle of the sport. Given the opportunity and a "fair shake” you can only imagine what Charles "Sonny" Liston might have been. He might have been the best, most fearsome heavyweight ever. Instead, he died an early death, shrouded in mystery, controversy and intrigue. It was an end that ironically mirrored his entire life.

    Shop the Sonny Liston Legacy tees here.

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