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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  • Intelligence Before Bravery

    Intelligence Before Bravery

    By Fernando Vargas - TITLE Board of Advisors

    My father figure, mentor and coach, Eduardo Garcia always told me "Intelligence before bravery." I didn't hear him say it to all of his fighters, but he knew me and knew I needed to hear it. He knew I needed to hear it often. I loved to fight and I loved to get my anger all out, but he knew the importance of keeping my head and being more of a thinking fighter.

    These were words that I started to live by. The philosophy and these words became something I was able to slowly apply in the ring and it was a very important lesson in my development as a fighter.

    It was an approach he really stressed going into my first world championship fight with Yori Boy Campos in 1998. I only had 14 fights, against Campas' 74 going into that fight. He had a lot more experience, so Eduardo really wanted to be sure that I kept my head about me, not get over-anxious or over-aggressive. I listened and it paid off. I thought my way through the fight, applied just the right amount of pressure and knocked the champion out in the seventh round. I broke him down by fighting a smart fight, not just going after him.

    Intelligence before bravery can have meaning in all parts of your life. Having heart is important and it's a good trait, but there are times that you should think before acting careless or being reckless. This is something I pass along occasionally when I see my fighters getting too caught up in brawling, a reckless lifestyle or just thinking they're invincible.

    There are times that you have to bite down and just fight, but don't lose your head or let your emotions get the best of you. Know when to lead with your head, instead of your heart. Brains before brawn. Intelligence before bravery.

    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.

    Shop TITLE Boxing.

  • No Plan is Fool Proof

    No Plan is Fool Proof

    By Douglas Ward

    Boxing Fight Tips

    German military strategist Helmuth Von Moltke once said that "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." His belief was once a hypothetical plan collides with a real world situation, nothing goes as planned. Assumptions made prior to combat play out incorrectly, errors pile up and predictions clash with reality. Mike Tyson put it in boxing terms when he said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

    So does that mean you should go into a fight blind, with no strategy and no gameplan? No. It does mean that you shouldn't become totally reliant on your pre-fight plan. You should think positively and that it will work. Believe that what you have mapped-out, based on your experience, perceptions and strengths, will play out exactly as you've predicted. But if it doesn't, be prepared to adapt. Once your blueprint starts to unfold and it’s not going according to plan, be willing and able to change.

    Some fighters and coaches have difficulty with this. They map out the perfect pre-fight strategy. They work on executing their gameplan and they can't change once it’s in action and doesn’t work. They have no "Plan B" and can't think fast enough in the heat of the battle to see what adjustments need to be made.

    The fact is, information and perceptions gathered before a match can be beneficial, but have to be negotiable. Part of any pre-fight planning should be a plan to adapt. There are too many variables to have all of the answers. The other fighter could decide to fight a different fight than usual. A foul or head butt could come into play. The referee's level of involvement could become a factor. An unexpected knockdown could occur. You can't plan for or expect any of these incidents to happen, but just knowing they might gives you the permission to alter your game plan without feeling like you've failed or made a mistake.

    It’s true when Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” But sometimes there comes a point in the ring (and in life) when the best way to control the future is to let go of the past and present, no matter how well you thought you had planned for it all.

    Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing.

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