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If you’ve ever looked at some of the world's most famous boxers on TV and thought, “maybe I could do that?” It's not really an uncommon thought, as a lot of people have had this same thought. However when it comes to actually getting started, whether it's because you want to become a world champion, you want to challenge yourself, or if you just want to lose some weight in a fun new way, we’ve got you covered.

What this article covers:

We are going to cover how to start your journey in becoming a boxer and, if you want to, how to start competing in amateur competition and even eventually work your way up to professional fights if you so choose.  

If you want to become a boxer, the first thing that you’re going to want to do is join a boxing gym. At first, you might be tempted to just set up a heavy bag in your home and buy some gloves and start training on your own. This really isn’t recommended, especially if you have no experience in boxing or even any other kind of combat sport. 

Going to a gym where you will have a coach supervise and correct your technique in a structured way that will actually allow you to progress is important. A good boxing coach will teach you the proper boxing stance, along with all the proper movements, including footwork, punching and head movement, all of which you need to work on to really call yourself a good boxer. 

There's no one better to get your boxing off to the right start than Teddy Atlas!  

how to start boxing

The other added benefit of joining a gym is the training partners you will have, these partners play a crucial role in your development as a boxer. They, similarly to your coach, can point out when you make errors that you might not notice. These training partners can also be sparring partners that can help you train your boxing against a live opponent and serve as a measure of how much you have progressed over time. 

On top of all that the gym will likely have equipment ready for you. This includes multiple heavy bags at the bare minimum but will also likely include items like a ring to move around and spar in, maybe even some specialty heavy bags like speedbags and double-end bags, focus mitts and maybe even gloves for you to use so you don’t have to purchase your own right away. Some gyms might even have some traditional fitness gym equipment like weight sets and treadmills. 

Now finding a good gym is important, so if you have the option of choosing from multiple gyms in your area, look up the reviews on those spaces from a few different sources. From there try out a few gyms, most will have some kind of discounted fee for people coming in and doing a trial. Note that this is not guaranteed and that the deals will range widely from gym to gym if they have one to begin with. 

From there decide which gym works for you best, choose based on the quality and overall vibes of the coach and the training partners at the gym as those are what’s most important. It doesn’t matter how nice a facility is if the coaches and training partners are off-putting and/or just no to your taste. 


Now that you have your gym, it's time to start learning how to box. You might be asking yourself how long does it take to get good at boxing and the unfortunate, or fortunate answer depending on how you look at it, is that it really depends on how much time you put in and how good you are overall at learning new skills. So let's teach you how to get better at boxing

When it comes to learning how to box, you should really listen to and trust that your coach knows what they are doing. You will want to start with learning how to be in a good boxing stance, as that is the foundation of all of your movements. From there the first thing that you will probably learn is how to move forwards and backwards, as well as left to right. Remember that basic footwork rules of boxing state that if you are going in a direction, you move that foot first, so if you move to the left your left foot moves first and if you are going forward your front foot moves first and vice versa. 

From there you will learn your basic punches, the first almost always being your jab or your lead hand straight followed by your cross or your rear hand straight, then your hooks, then your uppercuts, from there eventually you’ll build up to combinations, more advanced footwork and head movement and working to combine all of those. 

At first, you will likely be shadowing these techniques, also commonly known as shadowboxing, where you are throwing your techniques in the air with no resistance to taking the hits. Try to visualize an opponent to really help you get the feel for the techniques. 

From there you start to do some training on the heavy bags and on the mitts either with a training partner or your coach holding them. Training on the heavy bag will allow you to train your punching power and endurance as you will be able to go all out on it. Don’t just use the bags for burnouts, also use them to train your combinations and don’t forget about your proper technique. 

Eventually, you might feel like you are ready to spar and then you can try out your techniques live against an opponent that is also trying to hit you and avoid your strikes. 

There's no one better to get your boxing off to the right start than Teddy Atlas!  

how to start learning boxing


Eventually, if you decide that you are up for the challenge, you might want to start having amateur competitions and fights, either just for fun or as part of a goal of potentially going pro one day. So how do you learn how to become an amateur boxer? Well if you’ve been training for long enough, your trainer might notice and suggest the idea to you, or you if you feel like you’re ready you might approach your coach with the idea. That being said you might not know how to get your first boxing fight

Usually, your coach will reach out to various amateur promotions and competitions and try to get you on the card. From there you will need to decide what weight class you are going to compete at. At this early stage in your amateur career, literally being your first fight, you should focus too much time on cutting weight, so go down to the nearest weight class below you as long as it's not too extreme. 

Keep in mind that you might end up there as if you take this match seriously, you will likely up your training and clean up your diet for the match, which in all likelihood will result in some weight class without even really focusing on it. 

For your amateur boxing match, you will want to get in at least 6 training sessions a week. Those sessions should include shadowboxing, heavy bag work, focus mitt work, sparring and conditioning. If you really want to be ready you should also get in some long-distance running, commonly called roadwork in the boxing world. If you are just starting out with running, try sticking to just 30 minutes per session and adding 5 minutes per week. Try to aim for 1 to 3 sessions a week if you are just starting out. Doing this will build up your stamina for the match.

As you get closer to the match you might also want to try out some sprints to build up the endurance for those quick bursts that you have in boxing matches. Doing this will teach you how to get into boxing shape fast


If you have a successful amateur career, you might decide that turning professional is for you and you can start making money. If that turns out to be the case for you that's awesome but unfortunately turning pro isn’t as simple as getting your first boxing match at an amateur level.

To turn pro in boxing you are going to need to build up your amateur record first and it helps if you have a good win-to-loss ratio. Once you have a few fights under your belt, it's important to start building your network and promoting yourself. This means attending boxing events, reaching out to promoters and managers, and building your social media presence.

It might also be worth your time to look into finding a boxing manager and to start working with them. A boxing manager can help you secure fights, negotiate contracts, and build your career. Look for a reputable manager with experience working with up-and-coming boxers. Getting your first fight at a pro level with a manager, especially one with a few connections and experience in newer pros, will be much easier. 

Aside from that, you will also need to get a professional boxing license, which will signify your change from amateur to pro. This usually involves filling out an application, providing proof of your amateur record, and passing a medical examination. Once you have your license, you or your manager will need to find a promoter who can match you up with an opponent and promote the fight. You can reach out to local promoters or attend events to network and make connections. 

When you have a promoter interested in working with you, you will need to negotiate the terms of the fight, such as the purse, the weight class, the number of rounds, and the date and location of the fight.

From there you will need to prepare for your fight just like you did when you were an amateur. Keep in mind that not that you are at the pro level, you will likely need to train even harder than you did at an amateur level, because now you are fighting against people who are taking the sport just as, or maybe even more seriously than you. There are also fewer protections for you in the rules at a pro level, so the risk is even greater. Don’t expect any of your fights to be easy. 

Becoming a professional boxer is a long and challenging journey, so it's important to stay focused and persistent. Keep training, building your record, and networking until you achieve your goal of becoming a pro boxer.

Keep in mind that if you turn pro, there is quite literally no going back, you cannot compete in any amateur boxing competition once you go pro, so make sure you are ready.

There's no one better to get your boxing off to the right start than Teddy Atlas!  

how to become a professional boxer

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