Why boxing? I struggled to figure this out for years. Mainly because I wanted to explain it to myself in a way that would sound great to everyone else. I wanted a shitty marketing spin that I could buy and sell to everyone. I ran from the truth because I wanted to believe that boxing was for everyone, that everyone could benefit from this beast of activity. It took me a long time to be honest with myself, and the truth hit me one day when I read something from Malcolm X’s Autobiography. My all-time favorite book, by the way.
In that book, Malcolm X makes a visit to Mecca, during that visit he meets a man who spits some logic at him that leaves him speechless, he says: “You have never really believed [in something], until you want it for your brother as much as you want it for yourself. “Bamn! There it is … let it sink.
Honestly, I don’t want boxing for everyone, I don’t want it for my mother, my friends, the kid who plays the piano 3 hours a day, and I certainly don’t want it for the MBA student who does all of his stuff. his parents told him to do it. In fact, I don’t care who fits and who doesn’t, and that’s because there are deeper issues at stake. I mean, fear and self-esteem, this is what is at stake, this is what matters to me and you should too.
What is boxing? It’s a means of expressing yourself, it’s a tool and a set of techniques for relating to another human being, and that’s a classic Bruce Lee philosophy. It is one means among many to overcome fear, gain confidence, demonstrate what you are capable of and establish your self-esteem. Boxing is a sport, it is also a form of combat, and in it lie the basic components of the conflict faced by anyone who tries to excel in something: 1) control over oneself, 2) control over their environment, 3) control over others.
This is what the CEO is doing, this is what the b-boy is doing, this is what the gold digger is doing, this is what the painter is doing, and this is what you are doing every time you step into the ring. In boxing there are no liars, the truth finds you quickly, it is a high risk, high reward program for discovering what kind of man you really are. Big payoff because once you’ve worked, put in the time, gained the skills, and conditioned your body to the best it can be, you know you can walk down the street every day for a week and not pass anyone else who can. What do you do. Boxing is also high risk, you face your fear when you fight, and at the same time there is still a lot of fear, it is not fear of pain, but fear of losing what you have won, fear of losing your confidence and your status. Fear of being the nobody you were before boxing. That’s why you better learn to love yourself sometime along the way, because this boxing shit won’t last forever.
The boxer always has a difficult dilemma, we are always one blow away from being knocked down, and I mean very low, if you don’t believe me, ask Ricky Hatton. The boxer who takes calculated risks deserves support because we all have our time when that blow changes our destiny. Props for Ricky Hatton, no matter what anyone has to say. Mike Tyson took his destiny converting shots from Douglas, Holyfield and Lewis. Roy Jones took his from Tarver. Roberto Duran took his from Hearns, and Hearns took his from Barkley and Hagler. As fighters, active or not, we deserve recognition from ourselves for the risks we take to face our fears, demonstrate our self-esteem, and gain dominance.
So why boxing? Because the pain and discontent within me would not have had it otherwise.