As boxing unfortunately goes on a slight hiatus for the foreseeable future due to the world pandemic Coronavirus, I’ve been catching up on old fights and legendary boxing moments of the past.
As I’m sure many boxing fans have been in recent days.
The Reznick YouTube channel in particular is an excellent resource I’d recommend for this if you want to go back to where it all began.
But changing the pace a bit and moving forward to the more recent past, one of boxing’s most famed fighting sons ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard appeared on the hugely popular ‘Hotboxin ‘with Mike Tyson’ podcast recently where he talked all things his career and life.
Leonard is regarded as one of boxing’s all time-legends with a ferocious fight style.
Possessing ridiculous hand speed only bettered by his even bigger heart.
One of his great rivals, Roberto Duran of Panama was known as ‘Hands of Stone’ for his heavy punching power but Leonard gave a rare glimpse and unique insight into just how hard a man Duran really was.
Speaking to former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson Leonard said of his first fight with Duran in 1980 in Montreal, Canada:
“The first fight when he beat me, I remember looking at him, he hit me so hard, they called him Hands of Stone, he hit me so hard and in so many places I said to myself, I asked, who else is in the God damn ring? Right now because we’re talking about it I can smell his breath. I can recreate that moment.”
Many point to boxers having huge egos but indeed many of them like Leonard clearly have a lot of humility as per the above.
Getting your a** kicked daily in sparring brings about a lot of humility for fighters, no doubt.
Indeed, life has a funny way of eventually doing that to everyone and perhaps this Coronavirus at the moment is testament to that in that no one is infallible to it.
There’s nothing like tasting your own death and mortality to show you what’s really important in life.
After all, life is very short.
As for boxers at the highest level, the mix of humility and controlled ego they need to possess to make it to the very top is an interesting dynamic and perhaps a slight paradox at times.
Ego like humility, are actually necessary parts of the equation to become a champion fighter or to be the best at anything.
If you add this to keeping the faith and stir it around with lots of passion and discipline — then you’ve really got a recipe for a great fighter.
Humble successful fighters and people are perhaps the best people of all but it is important to note that we all have egos, and that the ego plays a vital role in all our beings once it is controlled and never let out of control.
Perhaps the best boxers like Leonard never let people play to their egos, either.
A real chess player, master of his craft and master of the mind.
A champion in and out of the ring and a guy who always puts God first.
With the down time in boxing events at the moment one would expect a lot of quality podcasts like the one above to be churned out in the coming weeks.