Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pre-fight Musings

I always talk about how the most important thing for me is to peak rather than plateau before a fight, but my preparation for this bout has definitely flattened out.

My last great workout was Sunday when I built my routine around 8 aggressive rounds of mitts with my buddy wearing the chest protector. It was better than sparring, giving me a great cardio and in-ring strength workout while letting me focus on my technique and combinations. Since then, I’ve felt like I’ve been boxing in sand, with my legs being fatigued and sore to the point that I even had to skip a workout on Wednesday.

Not ideal, but come 8 hours before my fight, I feel OK. Far from peaked, definitely not flat, but certainly not ideal. The biggest reason I worry about quantifying my preparation is because I can’t help but have it affect my confidence and mental preparation. I have the utmost confidence in my abilities, smarts and ring savvy, but right now I don’t have that “edge” – that certain completeness that lets me know with certainty that my opponent can’t touch me. How can you not fight a little conservative when you don’t know with 100% certainty that your legs will be there, your punches will be crisp and the gas tank is full?

I by no means have myself mentally defeated – I’m prepared for this fight and looking forward to it, but I’m not “up” and chomping at the bit. Perhaps it’s because of my short preparation, or maybe my attitude’s leaving a little to be desired, or it just might be the fact that this is yet another exhibition and I can’t help but look at it like an open sparring session rather than a higher-stakes, official bout.

What’s most likely is that I’m holding myself to an unfairly high standard, especially after just over two full weeks of training since my work-induced hiatus. Whenever I step in that ring I represent myself, my work ethic and my abilities, so I feel it's only human to take pride in my showing. At the same time, I need to just take deep breaths and Hulk-up - my brain and body have never let me down and, as always, I'll just have to improvise and adapt tonight to put it all together in the ring.

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