Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Think Like a Champion

How many times did you hear a true champion speak with doubt? How many times did you hear a boxer say, "It will be a tough fight, we will just have to wait until Saturday and see how it all works out"? Never, because doubt will knock you out before you even begin.

The athletes that are remembered are always those that performed memorably during times of pressure. I say memorably because they could be remembered for choking or rising to the occasion. Anyone who has played competitive sports knows that there is a different feeling during a play-off game, but as with all things in life, that by itself is not a bad thing, it is all in the way you handle it.

People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take of them-- Epictetus 200AD

If you let self-doubt enter your mind, anxiety is sure to grow. Once you start to doubt whether you are capable of winning you're on your way to disaster because the mind can only hold one thought at a time. You are either thinking of winning, and visualizing what winning will be like, or you are worrying about what happens if you don't win. You can only hold one picture at a time. Sure some athletes waver back and forth, but at any given time you can only be holding one thought.

What the mind sees, feels, and thinks, it works towards. The mind needs to be given direction and then it works towards making that given destination a reality. The mind is constantly working towards results, the trouble is what directions are we giving the mind. When you learn how to control your mind, greatness is achievable. Learning how to think like a winner is the first step towards becoming a winner.

To Become a champion, you must first look and act like a champion. -- Muhammad Ali

Some people say you cannot control what comes into your mind. I believe with the proper training... you can. Regardless of whether or not you can or cannot control what enters your mind, you can definitely control how long you hold any thought that does enter your mind. If a seagull decides to have a bowel movement while flying overhead, you cannot exactly control that... but you sure the heck can control how quickly you clean yourself off.

It is the same with your mind. When a negative thought enters, clean it out with a flood of positive images. Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want. Focus on winning, not on not losing. Begin to daydream, make this daydream the ideal outcome. Not what you will settle for, but what would be perfect.

"It's not what you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not." Denis Waitley

Importance of Cardio Exercises

Before you just give in to this popular belief that doing endless hours of boring cardio exercise is best for your weight loss, consider some recent scientific research that indicates that steady pace endurance cardio work may not be all it's cracked up to be. Our bodies are designed to perform physical activity in bursts of exertion followed by recovery, or stop-and-go movement instead of steady movement. Research suggests that physical variability is one of the most important aspects in fitness training.

Another factor to keep in mind regarding the benefits of physical variability is the internal effect of various forms of exercise on our body. Scientists have known that excessive steady state endurance exercise (different for everyone) increases free radical production in the body, can degenerate joints, reduces immune function, causes muscle wasting, and can cause a pro-inflammatory response in the body that can potentially lead to chronic diseases.

Highly variable cyclic training has been linked to increased anti-oxidant production in the body, which can assist with weight loss. Additionally, steady state endurance training only trains the heart at one specific heart rate range and doesn't train it to respond to various every day stressors. On the other hand, highly variable cyclic training teaches the heart to respond to and recover from a variety of demands making it less likely to fail when you need it. Think about it this way... exercise that trains your heart to rapidly increase and rapidly decrease will make your heart more capable of handling everyday stress.

Most competitive sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, tennis, hockey, etc. are naturally comprised of highly variable stop-and-go motion which trains the heart through a higher range than just steady walking or jogging. Doing swimming workouts in a variable intensity fashion may also be more beneficial than just swimming for a long duration at the same speed. Same goes for bicycling -- that is why mountain biking, which involves extreme ups and downs at various intensity levels may also be more beneficial than just a long flat steady pace bike ride.

One of the absolute most effective forms of variable intensity training to really reduce body fat and bring out serious muscular definition is performing wind sprints. Wind sprints can be done by sprinting at near max speed for 10-30 seconds, and then taking 60 seconds to walk for recovery before your next sprint. 6-12 total sprint intervals is usually a very challenging workout for most people. Weight training also incorporates short bursts of exertion followed by recovery periods.

Other great ways to incorporate variable intensity cardio training is using a jump rope, a rowing machine, or even outdoor hill running.

In conclusion, try to train your body at highly variable intensity rates for the majority of your workouts to get the most beneficial response in terms of a healthy heart, fat loss, and muscle toning.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Paulie Malignaggi vs. Juan " Hoya Boxing Organization" Diaz

WOW! What is going on in the world of Professional Boxing?

Let me start this post by first stating I'm not a fan of Malignaggi nor do I particularly like his boxing style, but then I don't care much for Diaz's style either. But I have to say styles apart I think this decision has to be the worst (and I've seen some bad ones) I have ever seen. This fight left me with the serious thought that the WWE is starting to be less predictable than Pro Boxing.

I think Malignaggi clearly out boxed Diaz in this fight again even though I don't like the style. I don't like it whether it's Malignaggi, Old Roy Jones Jr or Floyd Mayweather Jr! I put these three names together because I think the style is the same stick and move, run, hold and no power in their punches. And I link these three to point out that I've seen both the latter two win fights landing much fewer punches than Malignaggi did against Diaz. One main example I think was when Mayweather won against Oscar De la Hoya who I might add cried he thought he clearly won the fight. Kind of ironic that he promotes Diaz surely he scored the fight for Malignaggi. I mean at least Paulie actually scored punches and didn't just move and hold which is the point of that boxing style.

And again speaking of styles, personally Diaz and all these other grunting style fighters who seem to make more noise with their grunts than their punches just don't impress me. In fact they actually just seem to annoy me ( pow pow pop pop pop pop pop umphhh pow pow ) I mean I start to feel like I'm watching an old Batman show and the word bubbles are going to start popping up. Kapow bam etc, and it seems to me most of the fighters who do this rarely seem to have any real power to their punches. I think this style comes somewhat from karate or judo teaching or something and maybe it's effective when you’re breaking boards or blocks but it just never seems to translate to knockout power in boxing.

But back to the fight from what I watched I think the 115-113 score for Malignaggi was even being generous to Diaz. Because as far as the stick and move style goes it seemed to me Malignaggi pulled it off. I thought the "Baby Bull" looked like he was in a china shop only the only thing he was breaking was wind! I gave this fight to Paulie 116-112 and can in no way in my deepest farthest imagination see 118-110 for Diaz. Well wait maybe if the pay was right I could. Anyway you slice it the big winner here was Golden Boy Promotions who proved they can buy fights like the best of them. Look out Don King there’s a new King on the block and his name is Oscar. I guess everything is bigger in Texas. The big loser though HBO congratulations on hosting another fixed fight! Proving once again in Pro Boxing $$$$ Talks and B. S. walks.

In closing my bet was on Diaz in this fight so I was expecting him to win but I can't get myself to say he did.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday Night "Fights"? on ESPN 2

Well I don't know how much of a post I can make out of this and I hate to knock Friday Night Fights to much I try to be a fan, but man who put this card together? I kinda hoped maybe Vivian Harris had a little something left or even that maybe his opponent Noe Bolanos would pull off a dramatic upset. But instead we get a no contest over what seemed to be a not so serious accidental headbutt. I guess maybe I just wasn't getting the full effect of the butt but heck I've seen military guy's out on the town for a pre-Iraq deployment do some harder headbutting than that. And they did it intentionally and not one in the unit fell out! But hey it's Vivian's head and career so I guess he did what's best.

So anyway Deontay Wilder looked good against Travis Allen but we all expected that he probably has about hmm fifteen or so easy match ups before we know what's up with him. But He does seem to be suited well to the Pros.

And then we have the first fight! And this is where I'm sorry but I have to say why? who? and WTF!! were you thinking to whoever put this match up together. Or more specifically to whoever subjected me to having to watch some kid ( Travis Hartman ) who shouldn't even be fighting in the amateurs let alone on a national televised broadcast. I mean cmon it really sad when we sit and listen to Teddy go on and on before they fight about how bad the kid is and how the fight isn't going to show us much about his opponent Kieth Thurman. All the while the network Teddy works for put the fight on. Hartman came into this fight having been KO'd in his last five fights and put on the canvas the two before that.

So why? Why are they even letting this guy keep fighting no even to mention putting him on television in HD. And then his corner goes and throws in the towel in the second round when he wasn't even getting hit??? This one just really left me scratching my head and thinking hmm wonder what I'd look like in a pair of trunks? I mean I'm at least kind of athletic looking wonder where you can find one of them Agent fellows? So what ya think am I being to hard? I guess I wouldn't go on about it but it seem to be happening allot this year on FNF's to bad we the fans couldn't put together some match ups.

Let me hear your thoughts on this fight. And some you recall this year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Antonio Margarito vs, Joshua Clottey Prior use of plaster proof!

With the recent finding against Antonio Margarito for using an illegal substance on his hand wraps which was discovered prior to his fight against Shane Mosley. Arises the question of when and if he had used a hardener on his wraps before.

Many point to the fight against Miguel Cotto and the punishment and almost brutal beating Cotto took until finally giving up in the 11th round. And I for one would agree that in looking back it seems obvious that Margarito's wraps were most likely hardened during this fight. Because even in a sport where the goal is to beat the crap out of your opponent it's not often that you see someone as pummeled as Cotto after that fight.

And of course this leads to question what other fights were Margarito's hands wrapped with a hardening substance. And my thought is that it seem obvious to me that they were during his fight against Joshua Clottey. And here's where if you remember the fight you might say but wait, that fight went to the scorecards and Clottey wasn't pummeled and actually never seemed that hurt. But here is also where if you are a true boxing fan ( by this I mean if a fights on this weekend your watching or like me you pay for Showtime and HBO but rarely watch the movies) and pay attention then you have to think about the way Clottey fights ( defensive ) and about what did happen during that fight.

First let's examine Joshua Clottey and I'll start by saying I am a fan. While he's not the most exciting fighter out there I have been impressed with all of his fights. And he seems to step up to every challenge. I think one of his most notable fights was his total dismantling of the then never give up Diego Corrales may he rest in peace. But in that fight like Clottey's fight with Margarito, Clottey showed his defensive skills now in saying defensive skills we're not talking old Roy Jones Jr, or Floyd Mayweather Jr, skills the way they move away from getting hit.

Clottey stands in front of his opponent with his hands up in the block position lets his opponent get off and counters with quick combinations after his opponent stops. One of his biggest combinations is the double left hook upstairs and then down. And it is this style and the way his fight against Margarito played out that proves to me at least that Margarito had illegal wraps. See Clottey was actually winning this fight up to around the 5th round when he complained that his hand was injured and I think the decision could have went either way as Clottey still made a valiant effort. But it was obvious that even though he kept throwing with the injured hand it wasn't as often or with the same bad intentions as in the early rounds.

Margarito went on to win the fight by decision but Clottey was not hurt or damaged in any form as some of Margarito's other opponents. But I point to the fact that Margarito was still throwing lots of punches but Clottey was taking most of the punches on the gloves and arms. And considering that when Margarito blocked punches if his wraps were hard Clottey was hitting the hardened wraps with full force. Which is why I think Clottey was not beat up in the face but suffered damage to his hands. It just makes since to me if Clottey didn't fight the style he does he would have probably been pummeled or TKO'd in this fight.

In the end I guess only Margarito and his camp know the truth, but to those of us who watched now a lot of his fights bring up questions. Like how does he destroy Carlos Quintana twice and then get beat handily by Paul Williams who later gets destroyed by the for named Quintana? Or Destroy Cotto and then when we know his wraps were caught get destroyed by Shane Mosley who lost to Cotto? We may never know the answers but things seem to make a little more sense!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nate Campbell robbed by clear head-butt!

Timothy Bradley retained his 140 pound title in what was declared a controversial TKO. The fight ended because of a cut over the left eye of Nate Campbell which was later shown to be clearly caused by an accidental head-butt at the end of round three. Campbell complained to his corner and the Doctor at ringside that he could not see out of the eye and the fight was stopped between rounds. The referee Dave Mendoza agreed there was a head-butt but said a punch after the butt caused the cut. He based this on the fact he didn't notice blood after the butt only after the half punch that landed a mere Milli-second following.

Duh ever cut yourself and look at it for a second knowing it's about to start pouring blood? I know I have. The replay shows the butt clearly caused the cut and to give Campbell credit he was even calling it accidental. But really it seems that everybody Bradley fights gets "accidentally" head-butted throughout his fights!

My big problem and or question is if Showtime can show us the fans the clear head-butt and since the action was already stopped why can't the commissioner walk over to the monitor and have a look? And I know before you all start with the how instant replay screws football up and so on. Let me say this isn't football. I mean there is one ref and all it takes is for him to be out of position once and he misses something.
And this to me was the perfect time and place to look at the replay and then make a decision before you declare it as record because we all know the chances of having a boxing decision overturned. To me it's just ignorant when you have this technology use it! It wouldn't have slowed anything down and you would get the call right.

And lets face it this decision makes or breaks Campbell's career he's not a young gun anymore. And yes I'm a fan and while he wasn't looking his best in these three rounds let us remember the fight was just starting and he's surprised me in all of his latest fights by looking good at the moment you didn't expect it.

The bigger problem either way for Nate is what are the chances of getting a rematch? Or even another big name fight at this point. And that's why I think it's important for the Boxing associations to use every technological advantage they have to get it right! This is a career for these boxer's. What if in your career you where about to lose a job for stealing when there was a video showing what happened. But your boss wouldn't watch it, and now your resume has a bad spot you can't overturn?

For now we'll just have to wait and see if there is a rematch. I personally doubt it as I'm sure Bradley will go after a bigger money fight. Hey because isn't that what this sport has become now anyway it's all about promoters and self promotion and big payday's. At least we got the Super Middle Weight Tournament to look forward to!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vernon Forrest Ex-Boxing Champ dies in unfortunate shooting!

Boxing Great Vernon " The Viper" Forrest
Gunned down after exchanging gunfire with robber!

According to Atlanta police Monday.
Forrest was a former champ in two weight divisions a task that wasn't easy for Vernon as he was ducked in his early career by other title holders in his division. He was 38 years old and became most notable in his two fights with "Sugar" Shane Mosley by giving Mosley his first loss and then defeating him again in a rematch.

Investigators believe over 20 shots were fired from two guns according to Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows. One gun belonging to Forrest was recovered along with a shell casing. Forrest was putting air in his car tires at a gas station when the incident took place, but not much more was released in details. And Police have no new leads. Fulton County medical examiner Michele Stauffenberg had confirmed the autopsy showed Forrest died from "multiple gunshot wounds involving the upper torso and thigh."

Mosley commended Forrest for his boxing talents as well as his positive work in the community. He said in an e-mail quote "I viewed Vernon as a great competitor in the ring and an even greater man outside of the ring," he said in an e-mail. "His philanthropic efforts in his community and his drive to help others were deeply admired," Mosley added. "My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time."

Vernon departs with a still outstanding record of 41-3-29 kos. But the sad thing is he wont live to fight another day. All because of some petty thief who I only hope is brought to justice. The truth is he deserved a better departure than this. And may God be with his family.

So is the old saying death comes in three's true? As Vernon becomes the third former boxing champ to die with the recent deaths of Arturo "Thunder" Gatti and Hall of famer Alexis Arguello. And recent entertainers Ed Mcmahon, Farrah Fawcet and Michael Jackson.
One thing is for sure all of these have left us many memorable moments. And we'll miss their special talents.

Funeral arrangments are yet to be made.
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