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What Motivates Great Boxers?

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Boxers seem to have acquired the well earned reputation of being athletes who put in very long hours of training. They run habitually, and spend countless minutes punching a hanging bag or some type of punching dummy. Many have been known to have some pretty intriguing diets, consuming such things as raw eggs as a great source of nutrition and a mega boost to the immune system.

What is it that not only allows, but demands such rigors of personal dedication? Though circumstances can vary as widely as the individuals involved, there does seem to be the common element or driving force which
propels these athletes to devote a great deal of their time and energies into perfecting their sport.

In reading of the early life of Mike Tyson, one learns that he was bullied relentlessly as a youth for being overweight. That fact, coupled with his innate insecurities led him to pursue a sport where he could excel and dominate. Though you may disdain the behaviors the led to his ultimate downfall, it would be hard to deny his brilliance in the boxing ring.

James Toney, a bright star in the boxing world today, grew up in a ghetto environment after having been abandoned by his father at the age of 3. The disadvantages he experienced in his early life no doubt propelled him to eventually find his niche in the arena of boxing. He has gone on to become one of the most feared and intimidating boxers in the world.

Not all great boxers have grown up in such challenged circumstances. Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay) grew up in a loving home with two hard working parents. . From an early age he possessed an indomitable spirit and a thirst for perfection that led him to his chosen field. By most accounts, his level of training and practice was unsurpassed. Ali did, however, deal with racial prejudice which was rampant during his youth. Even after gaining notoriety from bagging over 100 wins in his amateur career he was refused service in a restaurant in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Perhaps this injustice served to further motivate him to greatness.

It appears obvious that in boxing or in any other sporting endeavor, one must possess the will and determination to succeed against any odds if they expect to rise to the top. Having “fire in the belly” is undoubtedly one of the greatest attributes of any top athlete.

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in Baseball Uniforms and Gym Bags