It was a brutal day. We started off with the public square 2.5 miler run. Ran it at a five minute mile pace, stupid. We got back and put on our gloves, it was sparring time.
It just so happens that each of my suite mates, including myself have pretty much every style. Jeff is a solid in-boxer, he can take a/many hits and keep swarming in like a young white Mike Tyson. John is a 6’2″, stringy yet athletic fellow, he naturally uses his range and is an out boxer- like Muhammad Ali or Larry Holmes. William is a tough man who throws heavy punches, he reminds me of a more friendly George Foreman (pre rumble-in-the-jungle). I would consider myself a boxer-puncher, similar to Manny Pacquiao’s style, I like the combination and don’t mind fighting in or out.
Coach Mike had us all fight each other for two rounds each, I started off with John. I found my style to match well against him as I could move in and hit the body to drop the hands and tag the head. After getting past the jab (at least at this level), his body was well within reach and his jaw was exposed. The two rounds went by pretty well.
Next was Jeff, holy crap. He got exponentially better since the last time we sparred, maybe I upset him, but he knocked me around. He was very aggressive on the inside and it was hard to hit him in a clean exchange without at least getting tagged. I felt a good jab to the eye and a solid knock to my jaw. I should definitely get a mouth guard for next time. After fighting Jeff, I realize the importance of keeping my mouth shut (physically) and keeping my hands up.
Then came William, not necessarily the fastest of the three, but definitely very resilient. I can already tell he’s going to be a ringer when he gets his cardio up. He has a solid defense, and he reads the fight, I would say he is a brawler/slugger because he puts an immense amount of body behind each punch when he commits, which is intimidating. For that he reminds me of the knockout king George Foreman.
After six straight rounds, I got a break, meaning I got to punch the heavy bags for six minutes. Then it was back to another two rounds with John and one and a half rounds with Jeff. At this point we were all having trouble keeping our hands up, and our calves were on fire, and we all realized how important cardio is.
Conclusions from sparing, defense is way more important to learn than offense, in Coach Mike’s words “the best offense is a strong defense.” John bit his lip pretty bad and is bleeding pretty badly. Jeff has trouble smiling. Will is having some body trouble. And my jaw is preventing me from eating my brown rice and chicken sriracha dinner.
At this point we were all completely drenched, we didn’t lift a single weight today, but we were all dying. Then came the 25 punch down…and up. We all had 25 “one twos” on the bag, then 24, 23 down to zero, then back up to 25. That was it, no push ups necessary. Our arms were totally done anyways. We’re all going to have no trouble sleeping tonight.