Contribution from freelance writer Jackie
Boxers engage in vigorous training - including strength training, running, and resistance training - all of which stress the physiological systems and require nutritional support for good recovery. A recent review by international sports scientists has laid out new guidelines for protein intake for athletes engaging in intense workouts. The review, which focused on track and field athletes in particular, recommended an intake of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 1.6 to 2.5 grams for those wishing to minimize the loss of lean body mass). Guidelines set for boxers are similar, however, with Maximuscle recommending that boxers aiming to make weight prior to a match, consume between 1.8 and 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day.
Why Is Protein So Important For Boxers?
Protein is key to many more functions than simply growing or maintaining muscle. This body breaks down proteins into essential amino acids that are responsible for a host of activities. Consuming a wide array of proteins is important for boxers because each amino acid bestows different benefits on the body. Some, like lysine (found in meat, eggs, and dairy products) aid in muscle turnover and strengthen the immune system. Others, like tryptophan, regulate your sleep, appetite and mood. Methionine, meanwhile, helps the body get rid of toxins and promotes tissue growth. Protein is also key for boxers wishing to make weight prior to a match because it stimulates the production of a hormone called peptide YY. This helps athletes reduce their food intake.
Upping The Appeal Of Protein
Boxers who are consuming higher-than-usual amounts of protein can stick to their regimen by ensuring that foods are prepared in an attractive fashion and enjoyed in good company. Ambience, too, is important. Outdoor meals can help boxers reduce stress hormone (cortisol) levels prior to a match, ensuring that they get a good night’s sleep as their match day approaches. Outdoor griddles or barbecues are additionally a good way to socialize and benefit from the company of friends and loved ones. Ensure you cook a wide variety of proteins and vegetables so as to make the occasion seem more like a feast. Keep griddle food preparation safe by using the right tools, ensuring the griddle is far from both adults and children, and practicing good fire safety. For instance, the griddle should not be within three feet of furniture or ceilings, and a fire extinguisher should always be nearby.
Ideal Proteins For Boxers To Enjoy
Stick to lean, high quality proteins to boost muscle recovery and help you achieve your weight goals. Top sources include grass-fed beef and chicken; wild Omega-3-rich fish such as wild salmon; organic dairy products such as Greek yoghurt; organic eggs; and organic soy products. You should also include a wide array of plant-based protein sources such as seeds, nuts and beans to help you reach your protein requirements while keeping your cholesterol levels low. You can also give yourself a protein boost when necessary by consuming whey protein in the form of protein powders.
If you are training for an upcoming match, consuming the recommended amount of protein for boxers is vital. Aim to consume top quality products obtained from organic sources. Finally, ensure food is prepared in an attractive fashion and in the company of friends and loved ones. Enjoying your meal in the great outdoors will help battle stress and offer good reason for a social get-together.
By Troy Parslow
As the Korakuen Hall welcomed fans for a WBO flyweight arrival on Friday, Junto Nakatani pulled Giemel Magramo into his centre and dispatched him in eight rounds.
Opening in a strong, low stance, not struggling for his timing punching down at a shorter opponent as a result, and occupying Magramo's guard at mid-range, Nakatani set the tone: hurting Magramo with an off-beat counter left hand as the visitor was baited into hooking around the jab—swinging a feel-out round and all momentum with it. Being hurt effortlessly, and just the two minutes into the contest, is quite a brutal awakening for someone whose wearing counters is an occupational hazard he so often disregards for their (lack of) consequences.
Whether Magramo was hurt too often to risk shuffling forward through long-mid-short range or disturbed by Nakatani's lead hand, as soon as the head began hanging so precariously over his front foot and the upper body movement—highlighted before the fight in being crucial in keeping Nakatani honest—made way for low, shapeless entries, it felt to this fan that the writing was on the wall. Nakatani punished the Filipino's bent shape, loading both hips—even upon falling short—to finish his combinations with leveraged, arching punches.
Stepping back, around Magramo's front foot, pushing him off before stepping out from the clinch, pivoting into space; Nakatani was able to create separation whenever it occurred to him and, by extension, manage the rounds on his terms. By the fifth, Magramo's exaggerated role as puncher was forgotten and the dynamic flipped. In stealing his rhythm and forcing Magramo to pick up his feet, Nakatani was the puncher—troubling his man with whatever he couldn't anticipate or roll.
If nothing else proving his mettle and industry, it would, however, be wrong to overlook Magramo's successes coming back. On more equal terms rounds two through four and even in the sixth, moving in behind right hand leads with a level change, he managed to find the body and a home for short uppercuts and counters. Head-on-shoulder, trying for space with a forearm and disrupting Nakatani's stance enough to land his own cuffing shots before being turned, or slipping an arm out to unsettle him from underneath in the clinch. Not particularly pretty, sometimes desperate, but getting through all the same.
Still, Magramo met the end of round six and the vanity of his inroads with a grimace. The bodywork seen snaking around the guard, and more so under it, taking its toll and the giant delivering it looking as strong as I've ever seen, Magramo unravelled with his resistance. He couldn't move Nakatani in six rounds and, now struggling to cover the distance behind a right hand, the next two were less kind.
Between last ditch raids and a couple of glances at his corner, Magramo was guided into space or retreating to the ropes as Nakatani played with step-back counters and poked at the body. Ninety seconds left in the eight, a sweeping left hand, disguised with a level change and hidden by a jab, ushered in the finish sending Magramo bouncing each side of the ring as Nakatani timed the rebounds. Falling on his front, Magramo succumbed to his imbalance—climbing to his feet before referee Nobuto Ikehara translated defeat in his gape and waved the fight.
I think Magramo's lack of shape and pressure is the main catalyst for his undoing, and it has a couple of roots. First off, barely trying to apply his normal feints after he was hurt suggests he didn't expect be—hurt, that is—and he very rarely is. He looked panicked, therefore unwilling to to risk playing with his rhythm at mid-range for fear of getting timed again. Then there's obviously Nakatani's ability to make Magramo reset and draw him in again. Case in point at 2:40 of the fourth round: Magramo bites of a couple of foot feints, moving to parry a jab and then throwing a right hand as if to counter another; Nakatani anticipates, stepping back with a counter left hand(just missing) as he guides Magramo past him and the right hand over his shoulder. With Magramo not giving him many looks and entering the pocket predictably, it was too easy for Nakatani to break up any success, reasserting his dominance by creating space and dominant angles.
That's not to say Magramo would win if he could hold the long combinations and counter more on his own time, but it might've looked more the fight we were(I was) expecting. In some respects Magramo looked as he always does:catching or rolling punches, accumulating short counters and shovel hooks to body. A lot of his best work is subtle and even if he was losing those moments to the more proactive and far more consistent wide flourishes of Nakatani, the fight wasn't always mismatched. We knew Nakatani was more complete and he laid it all out there for us again. What we do now know better than ever is his ability to keep his discipline and gameplan against a world class fighter—expertly managing the rounds and punishing the body.
Make no mistake, well beaten and finished, Magramo(24-2) demands your respect. In the heat of a second wave, he saw to the fight being realised(at the sixth time of asking) travelling away to Japan, weathered days quarantined in his hotel—running the hallways and hitting mitts in the rooms for preparation—and walked into the fire until he was burnt out. If Nakatani made sure we wouldn't see 'Pistolero's best version, he allowed for his most audacious. Never looking to survive, his reaction to being hurt was valorous, if a little bit concerning for the success of future challenges. Ever the action fighter, he wins, and looks great, or he goes out on his shield—the full “Skull and Bones” Magramo experience, if you will.
So what of the winner? What's next for Nakatani(21-0, 18)? Whoever's chosen, he's left little doubt he'll be ready. Previewing the fight, I considered him one of the fastest maturing fighters in the sport and, re-watching Friday's coup, it occurred to me that he's only accelerating. Stronger, more powerful, more efficient, improved with every fight, how he managed a talented Magramo and reduced him to a one-speed brawler was upsetting, honestly, and a little bit special at just his 22 years.
The best skill set in the flyweight division is of bantamweight proportions, and you'd be brave to doubt it.
Contribution from freelance writer Jackie
How Art Can Help Your Boxing Strategy
Physical activity has an important role in helping mental health conditions, but it also improves focus, discipline and the ability to strategize. Many people take up boxing for these reasons. Boxers like Caliente Koyasu also enjoy to relax and experience nature, which can be a good way to achieve focus before and after a fight. Boxing is a mental sport as much as it is a physical one;, therefore it is important to ensure the mind is trained and taken care of. Taking up art can be a way to improve the attention span and increase focus, both of which are required in boxing. Have a look at some of the art forms that you can try in order to become a better fighter.
Design For Clarity
Designing your home environment can help you reduce stress and optimize focus before every fight. Studies have shown that having a simple picture of nature on your wall can reduce stress levels and induce calm. This can also be achieved by adding color to your walls or ceilings. Greens help to mimic the calming effect, while colors like orange and yellow lift energy levels. Keeping your space open, with lots of natural light, can also help to prevent low mood. The presence of plants in the home can also alleviate feelings of anxiousness, according to a 2014 study, as can the presence of pets. A simple redesign can help your mind feel clearer before a fight.
Draw For Focus
Drawing to distract before a fight can improve your mood and increase your focus. It doesn’t matter if you have never drawn before or do not think you are a skilled artist: learning how to draw can help with discipline. Focusing on the finer details of a portrait, such as the muscles around the eyes, could help you to look out for signs that your opponent is about to make a certain move during a fight. Even simple doodling has been shown to help you focus, relieve stress and improve productivity according to a 2009 study. Drawing or painting can keep the brain active and help you to recall information more efficiently, which can be helpful in boxing.
Create For Calm
Many fighters quickly report physical injuries or issues, but mental health problems are often under reported. This is perhaps due to the perceived strength of boxers and the stigma that surrounds mental health problems. However, as one in four people are likely to have a mental health condition, it is likely that many boxers do too. Getting creative can help to soothe your mood before a fight. Creation comes in many forms: some people create a new piece of furniture; others prefer to try a little DIY around the home. Crafting can also be a new skill, and you can even customize your own boots and shorts with your brand.
Boxing is often seen to be an art-form in itself, but learning another skill can help you to regain focus and improve your strategy. As art requires concentration and thought, it could help you to apply the same principles to your boxing technique.
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.